Tuesday, December 3, 2013


What is EMDR? EMDR stands for Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. EMDR was discovered in 1987 by Dr. Francine Shapiro, and is the most researched of all treatment modalities. These studies have consistently found that EMDR effectively decrease/eliminate the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for a majority of people with the diagnosis. Success has also been reported by clinicians in areas such as anxiety, phobias, OCD, addictions, eating disorders, panic attacks, performance anxiety, and sexual/physical abuse. As an EMDR-provider, I have seen countless lives transformed by this powerful psychotherapeutic approach.

How does it work? According to the EMDR Institute, no one knows how any psychotherapy works neurobiologically or in the brain. We do know that with extreme upset, normal brain functioning is disrupted in the areas of information processing, emotion regulation, memory encoding, and sensorium. EMDR seems to have a direct effect on these areas, and helps restore normal brain functioning.

How long does EMDR take? One or more sessions are required for me to understand the nature of the problem and to decide whether EMDR is an appropriate treatment. At that time, I will be able to discuss EMDR more fully and provide an opportunity to answer any questions about this treatment. A typical EMDR session lasts from 50- to 90-minutes. Tye type of problem, life circumstances and the amount of previous trauma will determine how many treatment sessions are necessary. EMDR can be used as a stand-alone treatment or in addition to standard "talk" therapy.

If you are interested in EMDR, please contact me at 619-507-2936.

Debbie Tessmer-Wagner, MA, LMFT

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