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  • EMDR Therapy in Winnipeg

    Hi, I'm Vern. If you've been looking for an EMDR therapist near you in Winnipeg, you've come to the right place. I offer Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR therapy in Winnipeg to treat trauma and PTSD, negative Self beliefs, anxiety, and more.

    We here at Empower Counselling Services Winnipeg are so glad you've stopped by today to learn about us and our services. Feel free to take some time to look around, read about us and our services, and then let us know if you have any questions.

    Contact   Trauma & PTSD

    What is EMDR Therapy?

    As an integrative psychotherapy approach, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing has been extensively researched, and proven effective for treating trauma, PTSD, C-PTSD, phobias, anxiety, and much more. Through standardized protocols, this therapy incorporates elements from different mental health treatment approaches.


    How Does EMDR Therapy Work?

    It's an integrative psychotherapy, which means it takes different aspects from various psychotherapy approaches.

    Therapists use eye movements (or other forms of BLS such as named below) to facilitate the bilateral stimulation (BLS) in the brain. It's believed that the bilateral stimulation in the brain that is achieved through phase 4 of this therapy mimics the period of sleep referred to as rapid eye movement (REM), and this portion of sleep is frequently considered to be the time when the human brain processes events and experiences in a person’s life.

    The BLS seems to help the brain reprocess the trapped memories in such a way that normal information-processing is resumed. Therapists often use this therapy to help clients uncover and process negative Self beliefs that developed as the result of the trauma. For a more detailed explanation please visit EMDR Institute, Inc.

    EMDR Therapy in Winnipeg Can Help for Negative Self Beliefs

    One of the powerful ways EMDR therapy can help is by changing negative Self beliefs into positive and empowering Self beliefs. We explore what is feeding your negative Self beliefs in the first place, and then we work towards reducing or eliminating the need for these negative Self beliefs in your life. In EMDR therapy, we achieve this by helping your body heal from negative past life experiences; that is, past life experiences that are feeding your negative Self beliefs.

    Some people can easily list their top negative Self beliefs. For others though, negative Self beliefs can be hard to detect. People often don't have awareness of their negative Self beliefs until...

    Read the Full Blog Here

    What Is Bilateral Stimulation (BLS) in EMDR Therapy?

    The goal with the BLS is to repeatedly activate opposite sides of the brain to help the body with memory integration and memory data-bank updates. A therapist might use a device that buzzes alternately in your hands (left/right). Your therapist may also use a light-bar, move their hand/fingers back and forth for you to follow with your eyes, with your permission tap your hands or knees alternately, use the butterfly hug, or use sound during the reprocessing phase.

    Each of these BLS options have their benefits. You will need to discuss with your therapist what the best option will be for you.

    There are some limitations for using the eye movements for reprocessing. The following are examples of what may make the eye movements challenging:

    • Having had a concussion
    • A History of Seizures

    8 Phases of EMDR Therapy

    There is more to this therapy than just the stuff about eye movements. That's phase 4, the reprocessing phase. The other phases are just as important but are sometimes overlooked as not being as important or as not being fully part of the therapy.

    Phase 1: History and Treatment Planning

    This phase often takes between 1 and 2 sessions, but can also take longer. This phase is important because a clear understanding about what led to and maintains these problems reduces the risk of your therapist making incorrect assumptions about you. Strong history taking and treatment planning is crucial to achieve optimal therapy outcomes.

    Phase 2: Preparation

    This phase often takes between 1 and 4 sessions. If there is complex trauma, this phase may take longer.

    During this phase your therapist will explain the theory, how it works, how this therapy is done, and what you might anticipate during and after treatment.

    The therapist will also teach you a variety of calming and relaxation techniques that you can use in the face of emotional disturbances that may arise during or after a session.

    Phase 3: Assessment

    During this phase, you and your EMDR therapist will identify and clarify the target and set things up in preparation for reprocessing (phase 4).

    A target is a disturbance that you are experiencing, which could be an intrusive memory, a sound, smell, flashbacks, nightmares, etc.

    Phase 4: Desensitization

    During this phase your therapist will lead you through sets of bilateral stimulation (through a device that buzzes alternately in your hands, eye movements, tapping, or sound) until the disturbance goes down. Normally the goal is for any disturbance to go town to zero.

    Phase 5: Installation

    The goal during this phase is to increase and deepen your positive or preferred Self belief. Your positive Self belief will replace the original negative Self belief you held about yourself prior to treatment. For example, if your negative Self belief was "I am unlovable" and you would like your positive or preferred Self belief about yourself to be "I am lovable", during phase 5 your EMDR therapist will focus on deepening this positive Self belief.

    Phase 6: Body Scan

    During this phase your EMDR therapist will ask you to bring to mind the original target and see whether any residual tension is noticed in your body. Anything that is noticed will then be reprocessed. Reprocessing is considered incomplete until you can bring up the original target without feeling tension in your body.

    Phase 7: Closure

    This phase is to ensure each session is closed properly. Closure includes:

    • Proper closure for each session aims to help you feel better at the end of each session than you did at the beginning
    • A briefing on what you may anticipate between sessions, e.g. that the processing may continue between sessions

    Phase 8: Reevaluation

    This phase is used to open each session. Reevaluation serves to determine the progress and success of treatment over time.

    You can find more information about the phases at this link.

    Are You a Candidate for EMDR Therapy in Winnipeg?

    To get you started, feel free to answer the following questions to help you determine whether this therapy may be right for you.

    I would like to access therapy that can lead to quick results.
    YES                    MAYBE                     NO
    I’m open to exploring treatments that are different from talk therapy.
    YES                    MAYBE                     NO
    I'm open to treatment options that are getting evidence-based results.
    YES                    MAYBE                     NO

    I understand that I have to put in the work in order for therapy to be effective.
    YES                    MAYBE                     NO
    I'm ready to take an honest and objective look at the potential causes for my symptoms.
    YES                    MAYBE                     NO
    I want to separate my true and genuine self from my symptoms.
    YES                    MAYBE                     NO

    For treatment to be successful, the process must be collaborative between you and your EMDR therapist, and both must be deeply invested in your healing and growth. You and your EMDR therapist both recognize the desire and goal for true and lasting healing in an empathetic, caring, and attuned therapeutic setting.

    Though a short questionnaire of 6 questions is not meant to be a comprehensive assessment or a scientific analytical tool, each of those questions are just as important nonetheless. If you are ready to put in the work and would like to better and heal yourself, be that for personal growth, trauma healing, confidence building, mental health, and more, EMDR therapy might be an excellent fit for your healing and personal and professional growth.

    Is EMDR Recognized?

    The American Psychological Association, Veterans Affairs Canada, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the American Psychiatric Association, the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs/Dept. of Defense, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, the World Health Organization, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the U.K. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence are among many national and international organizations that recognize EMDR therapy as an effective treatment. More specific information on treatment guidelines can be found on EMDRIA's page.

    How EMDR Therapy Differs From Other Therapy Modalities

    EMDR does not require people to talk in detail about the distressing issue(s).

    EMDR does not require clients to complete homework between sessions.

    Rather than focusing on changing the emotions, thoughts, or behaviours resulting from the distressing issue(s), EMDR therapy allows the brain to fully heal from and clear the traumatic memories and body associations and resume its natural healing processes.

    EMDR is designed to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories in the brain and other parts of the body where the trauma has been stored.

    For many clients, EMDR therapy can be successful for treating trauma and PTSD in fewer sessions than other psychotherapies.

    How EMDR Therapy Affects the Brain

    The human brain has a natural way to recover and heal from traumatic events and memories. This process involves communication between the hippocampus (responsible for assisting in learning, including memories about danger and safety), the prefrontal cortex (responsible for analyzing and controlling human behaviour and emotion), and the amygdala (the human alarm system for danger and stressful events). In many cases, traumatic experiences can be managed and resolved spontaneously and without professional help. However, traumatic memories are sometimes not processed without professional help from a trained psychotherapist.

    Stress-responses are part of our natural fight, flight, freeze, and fawn instincts. When distresses from disturbing events remain unprocessed in the body, the upsetting thoughts, emotions, and images may create an overwhelming feeling and/or sensation of being back in that moment of the traumatic event, or of being frozen in time. In other words, a person may feel like the event happened quite recently and the body is constantly scanning for danger to ensure the person is alert and prepared to avoid any future dangers. Though not always helpful, this is the body's natural way of attempting to make sense of and process the traumatic experience, and protect you from future traumas.

    This therapy helps the brain process these body-memories and allows normal healing to resume once again. The experience is still remembered as clearly as before, but the fight, flight, freeze, and/or fawn response and the disturbance from the original event is resolved and cleared.

    Is EMDR Therapy in Winnipeg Right for You?

    Have you experienced an event that causes you distress?

    Do you experience distressing emotions that appear to you, and perhaps to others, to be excessive given the current situation?

    Do you tend to be highly reactive to certain triggers?

    Is there one or more dysfunctional and negative Self belief that you believe about yourself that on an intellectual level you know is not true?

    If any of the above resonates with you then you may be a good candidate for nearby EMDR therapy in Winnipeg.

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    Our Blogs About EMDR Therapy in Winnipeg

    Below we are listing some of our blogs about EMDR therapy in Winnipeg. Feel free to click the images to learn more.

    The following videos are also excellent resources to learn more:

    Introduction to EMDR

    How Does EMDR Work? Watch this Animation

    What Is EMDR Therapy?

    Check Out Some Of Our Other Blogs

    EMDR, Negative Self Beliefs, Negative Family Mottoes

    Do You Have Complex PTSD?

    Is Post Traumatic Growth Possible?

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