EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy:

Peaceful Hearts Counseling now offers EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy. EMDR helps people decrease the powerful negative effects of trauma.

While trauma has traditionally been associated with catastrophic events such as war, hurricanes, tsunamis, accidents, rape, or violence, more recent concepts broaden traumatic experiences to fit the dictionary definition: any event with a lasting negative effect.

People experience trauma in very individual ways, and trauma can come from a multitude of experiences ranging from lost jobs, loved ones, pets and even past memories of long- or short-term physical, sexual, verbal or emotional abuse in childhood or early life.

EMDR uses an 8-phase approach to treat emotionally disturbing memories. Guided eye movements, the most unique aspect of EMDR, alternately stimulate the left and right hemispheres of the brain—back and forth. That process helps a person desensitize traumatic memories—memories that are over and now harmless but remain very frightening.

Desensitization means that the person becomes comfortable with the memory. Reprocessing the memory means trying to understand it in a way that becomes useful instead of frightening. This process allows the brain to connect the trauma with more positive and empowering emotions and thinking, which can spontaneously lead to more appropriate behaviors.

Once a person completes the process of desensitization and reprocessing, EMDR can further assist that person to amplify memories and sensations of safe and pleasant experiences and to work toward a more positive future.

Dr. Francine Shapiro began developing EMDR in 1987 to work with trauma victims. Since that time, a wealth of research has backed EMDR and inspired expanded use in many areas of the mental health field to work on a variety of traumatic memories.




Peaceful Hearts Counseling Services Inc., P.O. Box 385, Hamburg, PA 19526 • 610-562-1810