When is EMDR an Appropriate Treatment Option? Carie Brinton

by Carie Brinton, LMFT

Townsgate Therapist
October 30th, 2013

Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) will be explained in a series of
short articles over the next few months on this website. Article #1 follows:

Personally, I try to stay away from diagnosis whenever possible. However, if you have been
given any of these diagnoses, then EMDR could potentially benefit you: infidelity, PTSD,
trauma reaction, addiction, codependency, generalized anxiety, panic attacks, phobias and

Emotional problems that drive our current behavior, thoughts or feelings can be traced back
to all kinds of distressing situations, disturbing incidents and traumas. Examples range from
early childhood abuse (sexual, emotional, physical & neglect), being bullied at school,
witnessing violence, domestic violence, being shamed by someone who was an important
figure in our lives, being in a car accident to name a few. Whether the events were chronic
or a “single incident”, EMDR can be a valuable treatment choice.

Additionally, people who have stopped drinking, using drugs, & other addictive behaviors
and have started a living a sober life can benefit from EMDR. Usually there were a myriad of
emotions buried over the years. Getting numb really helped bury them. After some time in
sobriety those emotions start coming to the surface. It is difficult to block them out anymore.

EMDR works with the intent of desensitizing and reprocessing these difficult life-events so
that they hold less of an emotional charge in your mind & body. Causing them to fade into
the background and stop unfavorably guiding you through life. So if you have behaviors,
thoughts or feelings that are causing you distress, you might consider calling for an

coming articles:
How EMDR works; the stages
What EMDR actually looks like; the process
Other applications - such as Resource Building and Performance Enhancement,
How EMDR was discovered