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How EMDR Therapy Helps with Trauma and Traumatic Events

This article is about how Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) helps people cope with trauma and overcoming traumatic events.

People are made up of variables that make them unique. These qualities include things such as place of your birth, family of origin, religion, tradition, language, and socioeconomic factors, to name a few.

Folks may share some of those qualities mentioned above, but no two people are exactly alike. However, there are some pieces that remain the same across the spectrum of human development.

As individuals grow, learn, and develop, they increase their knowledge and skills. This process is shaped by the emotions they experience, as they learn and interact with others.

Humans are wired to be social creatures, and we learn a lot about who we are from the reaction and responses of those around us. When a person’s life flows along what is considered a “normal” trajectory, experiencing what is commonly expected for that developmental stage, they develop a positive world view.

They feel confident in their own abilities, to learn new things and navigate difficulties. They are able to develop and maintain relationships with people in their lives. They feel safe and cared for within their family unit.

However, often that does not happen. People get divorced, children are raised in poverty and the home feels chaotic and unsafe.

Often, these are due to factors beyond the individual’s control. There doesn’t always need to be someone at fault. Scary and difficult events happen. Regardless, events or experiences that feel scary or out of control for a person can impact them deeply, and cause them to become stuck.

Events like that are called traumatic events.


A traumatic event can be anything that overwhelms an in individuals’ ability to cope. For a 5-year-old, getting lost at the park and not finding their caretaker can feel like too much. On the other end of the spectrum, many soldiers suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome after seeing horrific events of death and violence.

What constitutes a traumatic event for an individual will vary based on their age, stage, and other factors. The part that remains consistent is that trauma keeps an individual stuck. They often remain frozen and unable to move forward from the incident. Trauma is like a roadblock in that road of smooth growth and development.


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy, commonly referred to as EMDR, is a tool used to treat individuals struggling to process and move on from trauma. There are different modalities of therapy that are specifically geared towards trauma and EMDR is one of the most popular. There are several reasons for this.

  • EMDR works directly with the brain to rewire and process the events that caused the trauma.
  • EMDR allows the individual to work through the newly processed events in a healthy, empowering way.
  • EMDR is an evidence-based treatment for treating PTSD and is empirically validated.
  • EMDR does not require the individual to remember painful memories in detail. It unlocks the brains’ natural ability to heal.
  • EMDR can be both empowering and comforting, when done with an experienced practitioner in a secure setting.


EMDR can help anyone who is struggling to move forward in their lives, and feels stuck. It is helpful to integrate it into a person’s therapy process, and have support integrating the new feelings.

If you’re ready to make a change; and you are ready to feel more comfortable and confident in your life and relationships — reach out to us here at the Center for Intimacy, Connection and Change (CICC).

Our team is here for you. You can schedule a free consult with us here, or contact me direct by emailing:

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