• EMDR Therapy in Winnipeg, Manitoba

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

    We here at Empower Counselling Services Winnipeg are so honoured 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 and PTSD, phobias, anxiety, mental health, and much more. Through standardized protocols, this therapy incorporates elements from different mental health treatment approaches.


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    EMDR Therapists in Winnipeg Can Help

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    EMDR therapists near you in Winnipeg can help you get to know the real you - the YOU that you would have been without your current struggles and pains

    How Does this 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 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

    EMDR therapy can help for a variety of personal and professional struggles. One of the powerful ways EMDR therapy can help is by changing negative Self beliefs into positive and Self empowering Self beliefs. However, rather than changing from the top down (i.e. by attempting to directly change your negative Self beliefs and behaviours), which often requires people to do maintenance work for a long period of time, EMDR therapy aims to help you change from the bottom up by healing you right at the source/root of the problem; i.e. by healing you at the body level. In other words, we explore what is feeding your negative Self belief system in the first place, and then we work towards reducing or eliminating the need for this belief system 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. This allows you to move forward with a positive Self belief system, because your body has reprocessed the negative memories from past negative life experiences that are feeding your negative Self beliefs.

    Negative Self beliefs are often hard to detect. People often don't have awareness of their negative Self beliefs until they start seeing patterns that are incongruent with evidence. For example: You might think to yourself "I am not smart," but when you pause briefly and look around your life, the evidence does not support this belief. In fact, you might even be surprised when you do well in that essay, that exam, or when you have a good idea that's received well at work. You may almost feeling like "I don't know how that happened, but I know I'm not that smart."

    It's quite common for people to experience negative Self beliefs more through a felt sense rather than verbal awareness. In other words, negative Self beliefs are sometimes more of a lived experience and less of a verbal experience. You may know what the belief/experience feels like long before you know the words to describe the experience. This might look like an internal discomfort for which you don't currently have the words, and/or more like a feeling of chronic overwhelm. What you are aware of is that it constantly makes you feel uneasy and uncomfortable.

    Another way people might experience negative Self beliefs is that the belief is not perceived as a negative Self belief, but rather, simply as the truth. For example: If you often think to yourself "I am not good enough," what will likely happen over time is that you start living into this belief, and you start believing this more and more deeply. Over time your behaviour starts to reflect this belief in your life. This might look like you not living your full personal and professional potential, because you are being held back by the negative Self belief of "I am not good enough..." for that job, that partner, that lower stress life, that hobby, that regular workout, that friendship, that university or college, that leadership position at work. Or perhaps for you it is simply "I am not good enough," not for certain specifics but rather, "Who I am is not good enough."

    Perhaps you are not currently aware of your core negative Self beliefs and would like to explore this. Or perhaps you are already aware of your core negative Self beliefs and would like to heal this part of you so your negative beliefs are no longer needed. Moving forward with a positive Self belief system can be incredibly Self empowering. If you are curious what life could be like if you had a positive Self belief system, then EMDR therapy in Winnipeg may be an excellent solution for you.

    Examples of negative Self beliefs include but are certainly not limited to the following:

    I can't tolerate/handle this

    I am responsible

    I am worthless/inadequate

    I am not good enough

    I am different / I don't belong

    I can never get what I need/want/desire

    I have to be right

    I am undeserving

    I am helpless

    I should have done something

    I am not lovable / I'm unlovable

    I can't/shouldn't forgive myself

    I did something wrong

    Who I am is wrong

    I should have known better

    I cannot tryst myself and my judgment

    I am powerless

    I always mess things up


    I'm a failure / I will fail

    I have to be perfect

    I have to please people

    I am permanently damaged

    I cannot stand up for myself

    I can't/shouldn't be powerful

    I will not succeed

    Everything is always my fault

    I'm useless

    EMDR Therapy in Winnipeg Can Help

    EMDR therapy near you in Winnipeg can often completely clear the symptoms of trauma and PTSD

    EMDR therapy in Winnipeg can help you gain the empowerment you've been looking for

    EMDR Therapy in Winnipeg Can Help

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    What Is Bilateral Stimulation (BLS)?

    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

    ◻️ Seizures

    ◻️ Other mental or physical challenges

    ◻️ Struggling with multi-tasking and focus

    EMDR Therapy Near You in Winnipeg Can Help

    EMDR therapy near you can help you heal from trauma and PTSD

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    EMDR Therapy Near You in Winnipeg Can Help

    Winnipeg EMDR therapy can help with stress about specific situations

    EMDR therapy near you in Winnipeg can help for perfectionism

    Importance of Titration for Trauma and PTSD Treatment

    One of the frequently overlooked aspects to trauma treatment is the importance of slowing down, or titration. Arielle Schartz, PhD, "Titration refers to a process of experiencing small amounts of distress at a time with a goal to discharge the tension."

    EMDR is a highly effective therapy treatment in part because titration is closely observed to reduce the risk of overwhelm and flooding.

    We believe titration to be a frequently overlooked but an essential part in any trauma work. We highly recommend you read our blog The Importance of Titration for Trauma Healing in Winnipeg where we go into more details about titration for trauma healing.

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    EMDR therapists near you can help with panic attacks

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

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    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.

    EMDR Therapy in Winnipeg Can Help

    EMDR therapy near you in Winnipeg is an excellent therapy to process trauma at the body level

    EMDR therapy in Winnipeg is an effective therapy to process symptoms of ptsd at the body level

    EMDR Therapy in Winnipeg Can Help

    EMDR therapy in Winnipeg is a powerful way to get to the root of your struggles

    EMDR therapy near you is an effective therapy that can often fully clear or remove the symptoms of trauma and ptsd

    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 this Therapy Differs From Other Therapies

    The main differences from other therapies such as talk-therapy include:

    ◻️ Does not require people to talk in detail about the distressing issue(s)

    ◻️ 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

    ◻️ It's 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 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

    How to Begin Healing After Personal Trauma

    Do You Have Complex PTSD?

    How to Navigate Family Trauma Around the Holidays

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