BE

patient toward all
that is unsolved
in your heart…

~ Reiner Maria Rilke

EMDR

Understanding Trauma

Trauma occurs when a person experiences extremely difficult and emotionally challenging situations without the opportunity to process them in a healthy way. Persistent symptoms such as fear, hypervigilance, emotional dysregulation, and reactivity are often due to incomplete processing of trauma. Facing such situations alone and unsupported, or when we are too young, frightened, or confused to understand what happened, can undermine the ability to adapt and move on from the experience. This lack of integration often results in a tendency to react as though the threat is happening right now even when no threat is present.

Trauma may be acute, such as a single incident event like an accident, a natural disaster or an assault; or it may be chronic such as repeated exposure to very stressful situations like bullying, child abuse, or domestic violence. Either way, the experience can leave you feeling unable to cope or with questions about safety and control. Unexplained anxiety, depression, emotional dysregulation, destructive relationship patterns or phobias are sometimes an indicator of complex or cumulative trauma.

What is the Theory Behind EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapeutic approach for healing unresolved trauma. It helps you reorganize difficult emotions so it no longer feels as though the emotion is in control.

Starting in an atmosphere of safety and calm, I help you identify stuck memories and the troubling feelings and beliefs associated with them. We access more adaptive parts of the brain and remove blocks to healing. Once activated, the brain easily begins to free-associate and naturally calls up new, healthy associations – your brain does the healing work with little or no conscious effort by you. It is not necessary to describe the details of the trauma.

Depending on the extent of the trauma, symptom relief can occur quite quickly with EMDR compared to other treatment approaches. You will gain a deeper understanding of why you tend to react in certain ways; and you will reduce fear and worry, experiencing greater freedom in your daily life.

If you would like to find out more about EMDR before getting started please visit the EMDR International Association at emdria.org.

What It’s Like

We begin the EMDR process by creating an atmosphere of physical and emotional safety and calm. I help you to access visual, emotional and sensory memories and to construct useful meanings or “cognitions” that represent the memories. Unlike other forms of therapy, it is not necessary to describe the details of the trauma. We will identify places in your body where feelings or blocked energy is being stored. We then use the cognitions, along with bi-lateral stimulation (BLS) to access more adaptive parts of the brain. BLS is a process of alternating stimulation of both sides of the brain by tapping, using hand-held pulsers, or hand movements. Once activated through BLS, the brain easily begins to free-associate and naturally calls up new, healthy associations.

After a series of sessions clients typically notice feelings of relief and distance from symptoms, a decrease or elimination of disturbing memories, relief from physical symptoms, and a dissolving of both present and anticipated triggers. The reactivity diminishes. The same processes that were used to resolve negative feelings are then used to create new adaptive, positive feeling states.

Kirsten Leitner, MFT

Marriage and Family Therapist, MFC #92421

2830 I St., Suite 306

Sacramento, CA 95816

(916) 281-9090

EMDR

Understanding Trauma

Trauma occurs when a person experiences extremely difficult and emotionally challenging situations without the opportunity to process them in a healthy way. Persistent symptoms such as fear, hypervigilance, emotional dysregulation, and reactivity are often due to incomplete processing of trauma. Facing such situations alone and unsupported, or when we are too young, frightened, or confused to understand what happened, can undermine the ability to adapt and move on from the experience. This lack of integration often results in a tendency to react as though the threat is happening right now even when no threat is present.

Trauma may be acute, such as a single incident event like an accident, a natural disaster or an assault; or it may be chronic such as repeated exposure to very stressful situations like bullying, child abuse, or domestic violence. Either way, the experience can leave you feeling unable to cope or with questions about safety and control. Unexplained anxiety, depression, emotional dysregulation, destructive relationship patterns or phobias are sometimes an indicator of complex or cumulative trauma.

What is the Theory Behind EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapeutic approach for healing unresolved trauma. It helps you reorganize difficult emotions so it no longer feels as though the emotion is in control.

Starting in an atmosphere of safety and calm, I help you identify stuck memories and the troubling feelings and beliefs associated with them. We access more adaptive parts of the brain and remove blocks to healing. Once activated, the brain easily begins to free-associate and naturally calls up new, healthy associations – your brain does the healing work with little or no conscious effort by you. It is not necessary to describe the details of the trauma.

Depending on the extent of the trauma, symptom relief can occur quite quickly with EMDR compared to other treatment approaches. You will gain a deeper understanding of why you tend to react in certain ways; and you will reduce fear and worry, experiencing greater freedom in your daily life.

If you would like to find out more about EMDR before getting started please visit the EMDR International Association at emdria.org.

What It’s Like

We begin the EMDR process by creating an atmosphere of physical and emotional safety and calm. I help you to access visual, emotional and sensory memories and to construct useful meanings or “cognitions” that represent the memories. Unlike other forms of therapy, it is not necessary to describe the details of the trauma. We will identify places in your body where feelings or blocked energy is being stored. We then use the cognitions, along with bi-lateral stimulation (BLS) to access more adaptive parts of the brain. BLS is a process of alternating stimulation of both sides of the brain by tapping, using hand-held pulsers, or hand movements. Once activated through BLS, the brain easily begins to free-associate and naturally calls up new, healthy associations.

After a series of sessions clients typically notice feelings of relief and distance from symptoms, a decrease or elimination of disturbing memories, relief from physical symptoms, and a dissolving of both present and anticipated triggers. The reactivity diminishes. The same processes that were used to resolve negative feelings are then used to create new adaptive, positive feeling states.

Kirsten Leitner, MFT

Marriage and Family Therapist, MFC #92421

2830 I St., Suite 306

Sacramento, CA 95816

(916) 281-9090