EMDR Therapy for Trauma

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Understanding EMDR Therapy for Trauma with Marci Wise

What is EMDR?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a simple, efficient form of therapy – involving the use of eye movements, tapping, or auditory tones – to accelerate the brain’s capacity to process and heal a troubling memory, thought, feeling, phobia, etc. After processing, the memory is remembered, but the painful emotions and physical sensations/disturbing images/thoughts are no longer present.

Key Benefits:

  • Relief or positive effects can be experienced in just a few sessions.
  • Alleviates trauma-related symptoms, whether the traumatic event occurred many years ago or yesterday.
  • Often yields desired results with little talking.
  • EMDR is a drug-free therapy.
  • Does not require “homework” in between sessions.
  • Helps you break free from being “stuck” in unhealthy life patterns.
Brain model

Scientific research has established EMDR as effective for the treatment of post-traumatic stress, phobias, panic attacks, anxiety and depressive disorders, sexual and physical abuse, disturbing memories, complicated grief, and chronic pain. At Wise Counseling, we also incorporate EMDR into couples counseling, when necessary, to address underlying attachment issues.


EMDR Q&A:

Is it necessary to tell my therapist all
the details about my problems in order
for it to be processed?

No, it is not necessary to talk about all
the details of your experiences for
them to be processed.


Will I get emotional?
Yes, you may. Emotions and
sensations may come up during
processing; although, you will be
prepared and your therapist will help
you safely manage them. Once they
are processed, they rarely come back!


Is EMDR like hypnosis?
No. During EMDR processing, you
are present and fully in control.


Is EMDR a brief treatment?
• The length of time that it takes is
dependent upon the complexity of
your problems.


Since EMDR uses eye movements, can I still participate if I have poor vision?
• Yes, you can. While eye movements are most often used in EMDR, it’s effectiveness really lies in a process called “bi-lateral stimulation.”  If issues with eyesight are a problem, the therapist can achieve the same results by using hand pulsars, tapping or auditory tones.


While it can seem that our problems are simply obstacles to our best life, there may be a grander purpose. Check out the parallels between EMDR and Christian philosophy.

Offices in both the Fort Myers and Naples, Florida areas

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