Virtual EMDR with Monique Dauphin, LMHC
EMDR is an incredibly effective tool in therapeutic work. After having a transformative experience with it in my own personal therapy, I knew I had to learn how to guide my clients through the process. Seeing the relief that clients experience through EMDR is one of the great joys of my professional life. Send me an email if you want to talk more about experiencing it for yourself, and check out my About page to learn more about me.
What is EMDR?
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. In a nutshell, EMDR is a form of therapy that can change your relationship to traumatic memories or debilitating thoughts.
First, using guided meditation, breathwork, and other coping techniques, we work together to create safety. This is called “resourcing.” Then, when you’re ready, we work together to “reprocess” the traumatic memory. With my support and guidance, you will revisit the memory in your mind’s eye. Because revisiting these memories can be upsetting, we use some form of what’s called bilateral stimulation to help your body stay grounded in the present moment. Typically, this involves using a program in which you watch a small dot move back and forth on your computer screen (hence the name “Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing”).
The goal of EMDR is to turn traumatic memories into regular memories—the kind you can think about calmly, and then move on when you choose to. It will never be pleasant to remember these memories, but it doesn’t have to feel like there’s a freight train headed right for you every time they come up. The whole process is done at your pace—your foot is on the gas or the brake as needed. I am there to guide, support you, and ensure that you have the safest possible experience.
EMDR can free us from:
Feeling unsafe in the world
Feared imagined scenarios
Psychosomatic aches and pains
So, who can benefit from EMDR? EMDR can be used for a variety of conditions, but I am skilled in using it specifically for recovery from trauma and anxiety.
Trauma. Folks who are recovering from trauma may experience traumatic memories. When we have a traumatic memory, our “thinking brain” can completely understand that it happened in the past, and we’re safe now. However, sometimes our “survival brain” has not yet gotten the memo. When this memory is triggered, our stress response kicks in and floods our body with fight-flight-freeze hormones, which kicks off a chain reaction of trauma responses. Our bodies react as though the memory is happening now, and we either become panicked, shut down completely, or both. As a result, we do everything we can to avoid the traumatic memory, and it can become more and more frightening with time. EMDR helps our survival brain to understand that the trauma is not happening now, but is something we have already lived through.
Anxiety. For those of us who suffer with anxiety, EMDR can work to change our relationship to whatever imagined scenarios are causing us to worry about the future. For example, someone who has social anxiety might use an image of being laughed at by a room full of people, whether or not that has ever happened to them.
"What if my memories are very unclear? Can EMDR still help me?"
Yes. Many folks have extremely fragmented or hazy memories of their traumatic experience, and they can still do EMDR with amazing results. If the memory fragment is causing you distress, that means there’s enough there to work with—even if it’s just a flash of an image, a smell, or a body-sensation.
Feel free to reach out if you’re not sure if EMDR is a good fit for you—shoot me an email and we can talk it over.
It tends to work fast compared to traditional talk therapy, and has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of trauma and anxiety in people of all age groups. Another benefit is that it’s extremely versatile and can be tailored to your needs. If some part of the process doesn’t work for you, we keep trying different modifications until we get it right. One big seller for many people is that you don’t actually have to talk very much during EMDR if you don’t want to. The important thing is that you revisit the memory in your imagination—not that you describe it to the therapist. Talking is helpful for some people during EMDR, but many folks prefer not to talk, and either way is just fine. Also, doing EMDR virtually provides the additional benefit of being able to fully control your environment during sessions. You can have familiar objects and even pets around you, you can control the lighting and the temperature, and you don’t need to drive home afterward.
Short-term EMDR Intensive Sessions
Whenever my caseload is full and I’m unable to accept new clients for ongoing therapy (which is most of the time as there is a shortage of trauma therapists in our area), I continue to offer EMDR treatment in an intensive format. Click here to learn more about intensive sessions with me.