“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”
-Brene Brown

What is EMDR?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a form of therapy that helps people heal from trauma or other distressing life experiences. EMDR therapy has been extensively researched and has demonstrated effectiveness for trauma.

About EMDR Therapy
Our brains have a natural way to recover from traumatic memories and events. This process involves communication between the amygdala (the alarm signal for stressful events), the hippocampus (which assists with learning, including memories about safety and danger), and the prefrontal cortex (which analyzes and controls behavior and emotion). While many times traumatic experiences can be managed and resolved spontaneously, they may not be processed without help. Stress responses are part of our natural fight, flight, or freeze instincts. When distress from a disturbing event remains, the upsetting images, thoughts, and emotions may create feelings of overwhelm, of being back in that moment, or of being “frozen in time.” EMDR therapy helps the brain process these memories and allows normal healing to resume. The experience is still remembered, but the fight, flight, or freeze response from the original event is resolved.”

How is EMDR different from other therapies?
EMDR therapy does not require talking in detail about the distressing issue, or homework between sessions. EMDR, rather than focusing on changing the emotions, thoughts, or behaviors resulting from the distressing issue, allows the brain to resume its natural healing process. EMDR therapy is designed to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories in the brain. Part of the therapy includes alternating eye movements, sounds, or taps. For many clients, EMDR therapy can be completed in fewer sessions than other psychotherapies.


EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy approach developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro. It was created to help people heal from trauma or adversities such as issues of abuse, bullying, domestic violence, grief/loss, attachment wounds, abandonment, PTSD, and many other complicated life issues.

EMDR therapy is now validated as an evidence-based approach and included in SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) and the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices. In addition, EMDR therapy has been validated by over 20 randomized controlled clinical trials.


EMDR therapy integrates elements of many traditional psychological orientations and is based on the adaptive information processing model (AIP). The AIP model hypothesizes that there is an inherent information processing system in the brain that gets blocked when traumatic or adverse events occur.

These systems cause these events to get locked in the brain with the original picture, sounds, thoughts, feelings, and body sensations. Whenever a reminder of the traumatic or adverse event comes up, those pictures, thoughts, feelings, and sensations continue to be triggered.

According to Dr. Shapiro, many emotional problems and disorders are manifestations of these unprocessed traumatic memories that are stored in the brain. EMDR therapy works on helping the brain reprocess these traumatic memories. As a result, emotional and psychological disorders are alleviated.

EMDR therapy has been used with children and adolescents with a wide variety of emotional and psychological problems including PTSD, anxiety, phobias, depression, attachment disorders, and more. The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare has now accepted EMDR therapy as an evidence-based approach for children. I also utilize Attachment Focused and Resource Tapping forms of EMDR.

Valuable Resources for Clients

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10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living

From “Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, and Parent”

  • Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think
  • Cultivating Self‐Compassion: Letting Go of Perfectionism
  • Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness
  • Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark
  • Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty
  • Cultivating Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison
  • Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol
  • Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle
  • Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting Go of Self‐Doubt and “Supposed To”
  • Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and “Always in Control”

7 Levels of Listening

  1. Not listening: Not paying attention to or ignoring the other person’s communications.
  2. Pretend listening: Acting like or giving the impression that you are paying attention to another person’s communications, but in actuality not really paying attention to that individual.
  3. Partially listening: Only focusing on part of the other person’s communication or only giving it your divided attention.
  4. Focused listening: Giving the other person your undivided attention to his/her communication.
  5. Interpretive listening: Going beyond just paying attention but really trying to understand what the other person is communicating.
  6. Interactive listening: Being involved in the communications by asking clarifying questions or acknowledging understanding of the communication. Trying to empathize with them.
  7. Engaged listening: Being fully engaged involves listening to the other person’s view, feelings, interpretations, values concerning what they are sharing as well as sharing yours. Both parties are given the opportunity to fully express their views, feelings & ideas.

If you or any other person may be in danger, the following resources can provide you with immediate help.

  • Brené Brown, PhD: https://brenebrown.com/
    This is the website of Brené Brown, the developer of The Daring Way™ and Rising Strong™ curriculum. She is a researcher on vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. She focuses on authenticity and living a full life.

The Power of Bold Episode 30: Former Navy SEAL Brandon Webb on Mastering Fear


What causes Anxiety & Depression –
Inside Out

For I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11