EMDR Therapy

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Ms. Celeste has specialized training as an EMDRIA Certified Therapist for both adults and children and has been working with clients with this treatment modality since 2016. 


This treatment approach, which targets past experience, current triggers 

and future potential challenges, often results in:


  • alleviation of presenting symptoms
  • decrease or elimination of distress from a disturbing memory
  • improved view of the self
  • relief from bodily disturbance and emotion dysregulation
  • resolution of present and anticipated triggers
  • healthier relationships with family and friends, coworkers and peers


EMDR is designated as an effective treatment by the American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and many other international health agencies.  


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a comprehensive psychotherapy, originally developed by Francine Shapiro. EMDR has been clinically proven to accelerate the treatment of a wide range of problems and self-esteem issues related both to disturbing past traumatic events and present life conditions. This interactive approach has been empirically tested with clients who have experienced a broad range of disturbing life experiences, including accidents, loss of a job or a loved one, rape, sexual molestation, exposure to combat and natural disasters. EMDR offers a reprocessing of disturbing life experiences resulting in a significant reduction or elimination of symptoms such as emotional distress, intrusive thoughts, flashbacks and nightmares. EMDR is also used to treat relationship problems and self-esteem issues as well as anxiety, depression, complicated grief reactions, phobias and addiction. 

It can also alleviate performance anxiety at work, on the playing field and in the performing arts. 

This powerful psychotherapy approach has helped over an estimated two million people of all ages relieve many types of psychological distress.


The EMDR International Association is a non-profit professional association whose mission is to establish, maintain, and promote the highest standards of excellence, and integrity in EMDR practice, research, education and professional training. EMDRIA sponsors international conferences, has a membership directory, referral service and publishes a quarterly newsletter.

Trauma information pages by David Baldwin

Provides up to date information and research on trauma and EMDR for clinicians and clients.

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Treatment overview

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.    

  • EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.  When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound.  If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes.  The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health.  If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal.  
  • EMDR therapy involves attention to three time periods:  the past, present, and future.  Focus is given to past disturbing memories and related events.  Also, it is given to current situations that cause distress, and to developing the skills and attitudes needed for positive future actions.  With EMDR therapy, these items are addressed using an eight-phase treatment approach.
  • EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment. Eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation) are used during one part of the session.  After the clinician has determined which memory to target first, s/he asks the client to hold different aspects of that event or thought in mind and to use their eyes to track the therapist’s hand as it moves back and forth across the client’s field of vision.  As this happens, for reasons believed by a Harvard researcher to be connected with the biological mechanisms involved in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, internal associations arise and the clients begin to process the memory and disturbing feelings. 

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Research based

  • More than 30 positive controlled outcome studies have been done on EMDR therapy.  Some of the studies show that 84%-90% of single-trauma victims no longer have post-traumatic stress disorder after only three 90-minute sessions.  
  • Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy, people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. 
  • A study funded by the HMO Kaiser Permanente, found that 100% of the single-trauma victims and 77% of multiple trauma victims no longer were diagnosed with PTSD after only six 50-minute sessions. In another study, 77% of combat veterans were free of PTSD in 12 sessions.
  • Over 100,000 trained clinicians throughout the world use the therapy. 
  • Documentation shows millions of people have been treated successfully over the past 25 years. 
  • There has been so much research on EMDR therapy that it is now recognized as an effective form of treatment for trauma and other disturbing experiences by organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organization and the Department of Defense. Given the worldwide recognition as an effective treatment of trauma, one can easily see how EMDR therapy would be effective in treating the “everyday” memories that are the reason people have low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness, and all the myriad problems that bring them in for therapy. 

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Success

      In successful EMDR therapy, the meaning of painful events is transformed on an emotional level.  For instance, a rape victim shifts from feeling horror and self-disgust to holding the firm belief that “I survived it and I am strong.”  

      Unlike talk therapy, the insights clients gain in EMDR therapy result not so much from clinician interpretation, but from the client’s own accelerated intellectual and emotional processes.  The net effect is that clients conclude EMDR therapy feeling empowered by the very experiences that once debased them.  Their wounds have not just closed, they have transformed.  As a natural outcome of the EMDR therapeutic process, a client's thoughts, feelings and behavior are all robust indicators of emotional health and resolutionall without speaking in detail or doing homework used in other therapies.

      EMDR therapy combines different elements to maximize treatment effects.  A full description of the theory, sequence of treatment, and research on protocols and active mechanisms can be found in F. Shapiro (2001) Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing:  Basic principles, protocols and procedures (2nd edition) New York: Guilford Press.