By Ayan Mukherjee
Content warning: The following post contains discussions of trauma, including brief discussions of domestic violence, childhood trauma, sexual and verbal abuse, accidents, and assault.
If you or a loved one have had traumatic experiences, or you feel that your past is adversely intruding on your present, or you have been diagnosed with PTSD, or a professional has mentioned that you give EMDR Therapy a try, then this is the page for you.
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. I am a member of EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) and I use EMDR for treating phobias, PTSD and clearing other symptoms from traumatic events, such as domestic violence, childhood trauma, sexual abuse, accidents, etc. It can also be used for transforming our limiting core beliefs in a variety of settings.
Briefly, EMDR Therapy works on the model that some of our presenting issues can be traced back to memories from our past, which did not get “digested” or processed properly by our brain’s information processing system. This would likely happen if the memory was experienced as being traumatic. EMDR aims to reprocess these unprocessed memories, by helping the client’s brain link up positive, life affirming information from the present, to the older neural networks that hold the traumatic memories.
For example, if you were physically or verbally abused as a child by your parents, then you may have internalized beliefs such as, I am bad, or I am not good enough. But now you are a senior manager at a bank and are doing well for yourself and are good at what you do. Yet, you have these old core beliefs in the pit of your stomach, giving you unnecessary anxiety, nightmares and maybe even flashbacks of the past. You may also feel like an imposter at your job.
EMDR Therapy can be used to tell that old part of your brain that is holding the childhood trauma and the negative core beliefs, that the abuse is over. That you are a good person, who is successful and proficient at what you do. Over time as we do this work, you may find that your day-to-day anxiety level drops and you are no longer getting triggered by your past.
It is important to note that trauma can have powerful effects on our psyche and our bodies, regardless of how big or small it looks from the outside. For example, being verbally humiliated in class by a teacher at the age of 8, might have equally harmful effects, as someone getting physically assaulted at the age of 15.
I create mental health art and below you can find a drawing of you mine that I created to visually explain what EMDR does.
Ayan is a Registered Psychotherapist, EMDR specialist, and Layla Partner Therapist who focuses on treating anxiety, low self-esteem, PTSD and dissociation, stemming from past traumas. With a focus on the mind-body connection, his integrative approach to healing examines the root causes behind clients’ challenges. Ayan is a graduate of the Transformational Arts College and a member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. He has completed specialized training in EMDR and Hypnotherapy.