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Eye Movement Desensitization
and Reprocessing

EMDR is an effective therapy approach for the treatment of trauma. It uses bilateral stimulation and repetitive eye movements to help you reprocess distressing thoughts and reduce the intensity of those thoughts.

The brain stores distressing memories and thoughts as “sensory memories” instead of “factual memories” when exposed to traumatic situations. Accessing those memories later can make you experience unpleasant feelings and sensations, even though you are not actually experiencing the event at the moment. EMDR can help separate the sensations that are linked to those memories so that your response when recalling the event is more rational and the previous distressing emotions are no longer part of it.

EMDR Facts
EMDR is often used in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, trauma, or phobias.
Patients may find relief in as few as six sessions.
EMDR removes the negative emotional charge of a traumatic event
EMDR can also be used to treat
Anxiety • Panic Attacks • Grief and Loss • Depression • Addictions • Anger • Phobias • Sleep Problems • Low Self-Esteem • Trust Issues
How Does it Work?

EMDR is based on the notion that negative thoughts and feelings are the result of “unprocessed memories”. By using a technique called bilateral stimulation, which is paired with the distressing memories you experience, your therapist will alter the way you see the event that causes distress. While doing this, the right and left hemisphere of your brain become activated, allowing neural connections to be created.


Today, several types of bilateral sensory input may be used to accomplish this goal. For instance, some EMDR therapists would ask you to follow their moving finger with their eyes or alternate between your right and left knee while tapping them, while others use technology to guide this process. There are machines with lights that move back and forth, or hand-held pods that vibrate and have adjustable speed and strength.

No matter the device being used, you should be able to remember an event without feeling distressing sensations in your body soon after you start receiving EMDR treatment. You will also develop autonomy and experience increased self-esteem.

“Traumatic memories may be stored in a raw sensory form, in the limbic system, rather than as a semantic memory” Francine Shapiro

Eight Phases

Phase One
Phase Two
Phase Three
Phase Four
Phase Five
Phase Six
Body Scan
Phase Seven
Phase Eight
EMDR works as sequential processing.
When the correct target is processed,
subsequent stressors will also be addressed
About the Provider

Havah is a fully licensed clinical social worker who has been trained to provide Trauma-Focused Cognitive Therapy. She completed her rigorous training and certification in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) through the EMDR International Association back in February 2012 and is an expert in the application of this research-based integrative psychotherapy approach.

Using auditory tones or visual cues, Havah will ask you to follow a rhythmic left-right pattern while prompting thoughts and feelings that linked to your traumatic memories and beliefs. Havah’s therapy sessions are offered in an environment of trust, compassion and empathy. Her sessions are designed to provide you with the support you need and enhance your sense of control. She will help you navigate through your struggles, listen to you without judgment, and, once and reprocess your traumatic memories to liberate you from the emotional distress associated with those memories.

Duration Where Cost
Sessions often last 90 minutes, rather than the
traditional 45-minute psychotherapy session.
3825 Market St, Ste 4
Wilmington, NC 28403
$110 per session
(Assessment and report not included).
Common EMDR questions

EDMR is recommended by the International Society for Stress Studies, SAMHSA, the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defence, and the World Health Organization for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Current research suggests that EMDR is as effective as Exposure Therapy and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Potential side effects include emotional distress during the session, which is usually short-lived, patient may experience vivid dreams or nightmares after the session or feel temporarily worse. It is recommended that EMDR is administered by a trained and certified practitioner to reduce its potential for side-effects.

EMDR sessions tend to be longer than traditional therapy sessions to allow patients process their memories in full during the same session.

After a successfully completed EMDR session, patients should leave feeling more empowered and calmer than they initially felt.

EMDR can be adapted for children using a developmentally appropriate language. EMDR can be used with non-verbal children or those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders EMDR given that it is sensory-based.

During EMDR therapy, patients enter a relaxing state but do not go deep into a trance-like state of consciousness to access the sensory information stored with the traumatic event. However, the patient needs to be aware of the sensations, feelings, and thoughts involved in the event while maintaining a sense of calm and control to prevent the limbic system from becoming over-activated. When this happens, patients are unable to process the disturbing memory adaptively.

EMDR therapy integrates mindfulness to help patients be more in tune with their surroundings when recalling images of the traumatic event. EMDR therapists often asks patients to practice mindfulness meditation throughout the day and focus on being mindful.