EMDR Therapy

Finally, get unstuck from your past. EDMR therapy is a powerful treatment approach used by a trained trauma therapist that can help you break free from trauma.

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EMDR Therapy
in Houston, TX and Online

Break free from trauma and its lasting symptoms.

  • Are you struggling to recover from a traumatic experience such as an accident, disaster, assault or injury?
  • Have you experienced abuse or neglect?
  • Do you find it difficult to trust others, or feel fearful of rejection by others?
  • Do you feel “on edge”, easily triggered, or “on alert”?
  • Have you used substances such as alcohol, smoking, or food to soothe or numb your pain?

Trauma can have long-lasting effects on all aspects of your life, whether you remember the trauma or not. You might experience medical complications, physical symptoms such as tension or difficulty sleeping, and emotional symptoms such as anxiety, panic attacks, fearfulness, depression, or shame. Avoiding situations that remind you of the trauma is common. You might numb or soothe yourself with food, alcohol, sex, or other substances and may not even know why. Eddins Counseling Group aims to make a difference in people’s lives through counseling and therapy. One of these methods is EDMR Therapy. EMDR is a highly effective treatment for PTSD and trauma recovery.

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You Can Thrive With
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)

Give us a call at 832-559-2622 to find out more about EMDR Therapy in Houston. You can also schedule an appointment online with our counselors today. We have therapists near the Montrose, Heights & Sugar Land neighborhoods.

What is EMDR Therapy?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy approach that has helped people relieve many types of psychological distress. Substantial scientific research has established EMDR as effective for treating posttraumatic stress. It has also been effective in treating anxiety disorders such as phobias or panic disorder, disturbing or traumatic memories, negative beliefs, performance anxiety, trauma, stress reduction, complicated grief, sexual and/or physical abuse, even preverbal trauma.  It can be used with both children and adults.

EMDR Therapy Heals Trauma Wounds

Trauma treatment with EDMR therapy heals trauma by teaching you skills to handle emotional distress. Next, using stimulation such as rapid eye movements and taps, EMDR can help release the hold trauma has in your body, relieve symptoms and help you regain your life. Before beginning EMDR, your trauma therapist will teach you coping skills and strategies to feel safe and grounded, increase your resiliency, and help you learn to self-regulate your emotions. Once you’re prepared, you’ll identify negative beliefs and feelings that you may have developed as a result of the trauma you experienced. For example, you may hold a belief that you are unlovable, experience distressing memories or images, or feel uncomfortable physical sensations in your body. The EMDR process helps you to release the impact of trauma from your mind and body so that you can feel stronger, safer, and more secure. 

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How Do I Know if I Need EMDR Therapy?

You may experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or you might just notice the following impact of painful life experiences. EMDR therapy can offer relief and healing from these symptoms.

  • Hypervigilance: feeling on alert to everything (and everyone) in your surroundings
  • Upsetting or negative emotions
  • Feeling “stuck” or “frozen”
  • Feeling disconnected or numb
  • Anxiety / panic attacks
  • Unexplained medical complications
  • Physical “tightness” in the muscles (clenched jaw, tight shoulders)
  • Confusion, difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling “unsafe”
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Anger, irritability, mood swings
  • Obsessive thinking
  • Intrusive thoughts/distressing memories/flashbacks
  • Feeling “spaced out”
  • Negative beliefs
  • Chronic pain

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EMDR for PTSD Symptoms

Successful PTSD treatment requires a therapist who has a unique understanding of the nature of trauma and can use an approach sensitive to your emotions and past experiences. We understand how to guide you through the process in a safe and effective way. We will also monitor your progress to ensure you feel comfortable and satisfied with the process. EMDR is an effective treatment for PTSD. Rather than struggling with PTSD symptoms, an EMDR therapist can help you process and let go of your traumatic experience. Letting go means having more energy for living your life with greater freedom and ease. It means letting go of fear, shame, restless nights, and building greater confidence. And improving your relationships and feeling more confident. EMDR therapy for PTSD is worth the investment in yourself.

PTSD Treatment with EMDR Can Help You Reclaim Your Life

Research has shown that EMDR effectively decreases the symptoms of post-traumatic stress for the majority of clients. Your therapist may also use other trauma therapies, cognitive behavioral therapy or somatic therapy as part of your PTSD treatment. During therapy, emphasis will be placed first and foremost on creating a safe space for you and teaching you coping skills to regulate difficult emotions and ease your symptoms. You will go slowly through the process addressing your experience as you are ready. Your therapist will help you draw upon your strengths and resources as you process and release difficult information. PTSD treatment with EMDR therapy can help your brain to process your experiences and move you to a safe state again. You will still recall the experiences, but with a reduction in the negative thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Those thoughts and feelings may be replaced with positive new beliefs that can help you to “move past your past.” Your EMDR therapist can also help you assess whether other trauma therapies would also be beneficial for you.

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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) FAQ's

Many people experience some form of trauma in their life, some without recognizing their experience or symptoms as traumatic. 

Psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security and result in you feeling helpless, alone and vulnerable in a dangerous world. 

When we experience traumatic stress, it impacts our brains physiologically, which in turn impacts our behavior, mood, and physiology.

There are major events that most think of when hearing the word trauma: physical or sexual abuse, war, natural disaster. However, what is often overlooked is what is referred to as “little t” trauma.

The key in trauma is your experience and not the severity of the event. If you were a child, if it occurred by a caregiver, or how long the experience lasted can impact the severity of “little t” trauma for you personally. 

 

Examples of “little t” trauma include:

  • Ongoing emotional abuse/neglect
  • Being bullied or ridiculed
  • Experiences of shame, being left out
  • Feeling not cared for, rejected
  • Sports or other physical injuries
  • Loss or death of someone/something very close
  • Car accident
  • Childhood medical or developmental issues

Many people who have experienced any form of trauma develop a very normal way of coping by blocking out or repressing particularly painful negative memories. Unfortunately, over time, these traumatic memories may rise to the surface in disturbing ways.

Or the impact of the experience may show up via symptoms such as the ones in the list above or in PTSD.

EMDR seeks to help you relieve the disturbance resulting from traumatic experiences.

 

One way this is accomplished is by briefly recalling a vivid memory while engaging in EMDR processing via eye movements or taps. This process continues until there is no distress when recalling the memory.

You don’t have to discuss the details and it’s very important not to relive the experience. Your EMDR therapist will guide you through this process making sure you feel safe and secure throughout.

It’s not necessary to dig up buried memories to start the process of healing. Furthermore, the goal of EMDR therapy is to reduce the disturbance of painful memories. You will be guided safely through a process of healing at a pace that feels safe and comfortable for you. 

It’s not necessary to have painful or buried memories for EMDR to be effective. You can also process current situations that cause emotional stress.

You don’t need to recall a specific incident for EMDR to be effective. If you resonate with the symptoms of trauma, you can begin by exploring your history to identify a particular feeling that stands out to you the most.

From there, what needs to surface and process may emerge and your therapist will guide you through anything that might be stuck.

Each person processes trauma in a different way. Initially, your therapist will guide you in building resources to prepare you for the EMDR phase of therapy.

Once beginning the EMDR process, you may begin to notice shifts within 3-5 sessions.

Some clients achieve their goals within 8-12 sessions and for those with complex or developmental trauma, it may be longer.

EMDR works best when used in conjunction with traditional therapy so you may want additional therapy sessions with a trauma therapist to process and integrate your experience.

EMDR Treatment (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing Therapy) is a technique that allows the brain to process and let go of trauma or upsetting life experiences. What we know about trauma is that when a person is in distress, the brain is unable to process information as it does normally.

A disturbing experience or perception of negative experience can be recorded in the body and left “frozen in time.” The disturbing or upsetting experience is stored with all the thoughts, feelings, sensations, sights and sounds with it. This experience becomes “trapped” in the body’s nervous system since the brain is unable to process it.

It may not be remembered or suppressed from consciousness, but it still impacts emotional reactivity and emotional functioning through the body. This is why, for example, a soldier may jump when hearing a loud sound such as a car backfire. The sound is stored in the body along with the traumatic experience and the body is still responding as if it were in the traumatic situation.

Often we tend to develop negative beliefs about ourselves related to these disturbing experiences, which then impact how we see the world and relate to others. For example, if you were abused, you may at a deep level believe that you are unlovable and perceive frequent rejection in interpersonal relationships.

EMDR therapy works by unlocking these negative beliefs and feelings from the nervous system and allows the brain to process it fully.

Through EMDR therapy new insights or information may surface which allows you to become “unstuck” from the past experiences.  Images, sounds, feelings and perceptions are remembered but the degree of stress and reactivity has been reduced.

How EMDR Therapy Works

From research with this particular form of psychotherapy, EMDR seems to have a direct effect on the way the brain processes information. The brain is no longer “frozen”.

So after an EMDR therapy session, you no longer relive a traumatic experience when it is brought to mind. You will remember what happened, but it is less upsetting. This is why it is so powerful in the treatment of PTSD.

Are Negative Thoughts and Feelings Weighing You Down?

 

After experiencing a disturbing event, negative thoughts and beliefs about the self can dominate. Generally, these are the feelings of not being good enough, not being safe, or not being in control. These beliefs of inadequacy, helplessness, or powerless can contribute to patterns of depression and impact most areas of your life.

Negative feelings can also become stuck. This can lead you to experience negative feelings in the present even though they’re connected to the past. These feelings can impact your view of current situations, which may feel “true”.

Negative sensations associated with those feelings also surface and you may try to “avoid” experiencing them. Over time, these experiences can build up and lead to depression. EMDR therapy for depression helps you to heal traumatic experiences from the past and change the beliefs you have about yourself.

Depression can occur after experiencing traumatic stress or a prolonged period of stress.

Examples might include:

  • Loss of a loved one, particularly in a difficult or traumatic way
  • Job loss and unemployment
  • Relationship problems
  • Long-term illness such as cancer; injuries or developmental delays
  • Living with someone with mental illness such as depression or alcoholism
  • Experiencing a traumatic event
  • Experiencing emotional, verbal, physical, or sexual abuse
  • Bullying or teasing
  • Negative childhood experiences
  • Accidents or injuries
  • Experiences of being shamed
  • Living in poverty

EMDR therapy for depression is most effective for people who have experienced some form of trauma or prolonged stress.

Depression is a symptom of the stress or trauma experienced.

 

Thus, through EMDR, you are treating the root cause of the depression. 

EMDR therapy for depression is one tool to help you overcome symptoms of depression. Depression is complicated.  So you may also benefit from traditional talk therapy for depression such as cognitive behavioral therapy. Medication for depression may also be helpful depending on the severity of your symptoms.

EMDR processing doesn’t begin in your first session. First, your therapist will obtain background and together you will set goals. You can expect an EMDR therapy session to follow the follow phases of emdr therapy:

1. Build Skills for Safety

First, your EMDR therapist will help you develop safety and resiliency skills. This ensures you can feel safe and grounded throughout the process.

2. Identify a Specific Problem Focus

Next, you’ll identify a specific problem as the focus of your session. This could be related to grief, stress, anger, disturbing memories, distressing events, post-traumatic stress, etc.

3. Explore the Impact of the Trauma

You will then explore negative thoughts, beliefs, feelings and uncomfortable physical sensations you’ve developed as a result of that experience. For example, feeling on edge, self-esteem issues, images you hold in your mind, or beliefs such as “I’m worthless”.

4. Visit the Specific Traumatic Memory in a New Way

Your EMDR therapist will gently guide you to visit the specific traumatic memory, this time experiencing it in a new way. You don’t need to discuss anything specifically, just notice what is present including any body sensations.

5. Stimulate Both Sides of Your Brain Through Eye Movement, Touch, Light or Sensation

At the same time, your therapist will facilitate movement of your eyes right and left. Other right-left forms of stimulation may also be used. Such as holding buzzers that alternate vibrating in your right and left hands, tapping on your right and left leg or using a light bar. (This is referred to as “bilateral stimulation.”) This has your brain processing two things at once – the movement and the experience you just identified.

6. Continue this Process Until the Problem is Less Disturbing & Positive Beliefs are Formed

This process continues until the targeted memories or specific problem becomes less disturbing and is associated with positive thoughts and beliefs about one’s self.

By combining the memory with the stimulation, the body is able to process and release the trauma stored in your body and develop new, positive beliefs.

Most people experience a great reduction in the level of disturbance of the problem or traumatic events. EMDR is most effective when used in conjunction with traditional therapy.

EMDR Therapy Can Help You Heal in Sugar Land & Houston, TX

We have several EMDR therapists available to help you at our offices in Texas. Healing from trauma, PTSD, addictions, or other major life stressors is possible. When you call, our Client Care Coordinators in Houston, TX will find out more about your situation and match you with the best-fit EMDR therapist for your needs.

“If we cut ourselves, unless there is an obstacle, we tend to heal.  If we remove the block, the body goes back to healing.”

Start healing and feel safe again. For questions call or click below to schedule an appointment with an EMDR therapist in Houston, TX. 

Get Help From a Specialist in EMDR Therapy

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Alexis Leeper

Alexis specializes in working with adolescents, young adults, adults, and families. She has experience working with anxiety, depression, disorde…

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Becky Reiter

Becky is a trauma specialist.

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Diana Cabrera-Stewart

Diana’s specialty areas include working with mothers at any stage in their journey, as well as working with clients for whom race, culture, ethn…

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Jessica Ingram

Jessica’s experience includes counseling adults, teens, and children who have experienced trauma in their lives. Jessica is trained in EMDR, and…

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Kelsey Engdorf

I enjoy working with teens, young adults, and couples to help them build the lives they want. My focus is on creating a supportive, non-judgment…

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Kristen Ameli Matthews

I am here to help you regain a sense of control over your life, build coping skills, and assist you in making the changes you desire.

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Maggie Burkett

Maggie enjoys working with children, teens, and adults experiencing trauma, anxiety, depression, abuse, PTSD, self-harm, etc. Maggie is also a c…

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Sarah Soto

Sarah’s specialties and professional interests include helping people through life changes, trauma, PTSD, abuse, anxiety, stress, depression, AD…

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Steven Serrano

Steven is a bilingual (English & Spanish) psychotherapist. Steven’s experience includes counseling individuals, couples, families and teens in t…

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What Clients Are Saying

EMDR Therapy

So glad they provide EMDR here. It’s been the best thing for releasing my negative, sad, crippling beliefs from my past. I appreciate that they recognize that just talking about problems doesn’t fix them. EMDR is so powerful for moving on from difficulties. Thank you!!!

E.W.

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