Not The Same Old Therapy…We Aim To Do Better
No longer is therapy just about talking and listening. Integrating neuropsychological findings into existing approaches can mean faster relief and spontaneous behavioral change.
EMDR Therapy, much more than just talk.
Evidence-based approaches such as EMDR Therapy can yield faster results for kids and adults with better resolution than outdated behavioral methods.
How We Are Different
Our integrative treatment plans allow us to resolve complex difficulties rather than offering you a narrow range of treatment options.
As highly trained specialists we stay up to date on the latest techniques to actually treat the root of problems. We set out to cure and eliminate problems instead of just supporting individuals as they continue to suffer.
Our EMDR therapist will integrate in-office therapy with at-home techniques that are easy to follow allow patients to have relief outside of the office.
We want you to know there may be a better possible outcome than what you’ve been told.
We do not believe in only managing a chronic issue, we aim to resolve it.
~ Dr. Amy Serin
What is EMDR Therapy?
It’s talk therapy on steroids. Using EMDR during talk therapy has been shown in recent studies to provide faster results for our patients.
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. During EMDR therapy sessions, a trained therapist will guide the patient through the different stages of EMDR therapy. Because of this hands-on approach, real-time evaluation can immediately begin to reprogram the neural pathways associated with anxiety, trauma and PTSD. This therapy will take time but the benefits of EMDR therapy have been clinically shown to help patients especially those who struggle to heal from past psychological trauma.
How Is EMDR Therapy Different?
When we integrate treatment plans with EMDR, we can resolve complex difficulties rather than having a narrow range of treatment options.
Being specialists in therapy, we stay on top of the latest techniques that helps us treat the root of your problem. A few of the issue that have had great results with EMDR Therapy are the spectrum of anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety, PTSD with anxiety, panic disorders, trauma, OCD, and many many more.
Not only do we offer therapy at our office we provide you with at-home techniques that are easy to follow and will allow you to have relief outside of the office, thus improving your quality of life.
How Does EMDR Work?
Although there are different systems that make up the body (circulatory system, respiratory system, endocrine system, nervous system, etc.), it’s important to remember that all of these systems work together to maintain your body’s overall health.
To explain how EMDR works it’s necessary to first understand the nervous system. The central nervous system is composed of the brain and the spinal cord. The brain plays a crucial role in our lives, not only in thinking but also in many of the behind the scenes duties such as regulate our heart to keep beating and keep our lungs inhaling air—all without us having to remember to do it ourselves!
If the brain sends out signals, then the spinal cord brings them in. The spinal cord imports sensory data that your body is experiencing from the world around you. Most of the information gathered comes from your body’s five sense: eyesight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. It is your brain’s job to interpret what that information means. For example: to feel the immediate pain of stepping on something sharp, the pleasure in eating something delicious, and the discomfort of being cold in a winter’s day. All this data travels along neural paths that lead to the brain to communicate the world around us and it’s the brain’s job to determine if we’re in danger or not.
EMDR can help restore the correct way for the brain to respond. A traumatic event is not just a painful memory, it actually alters the brain by creating new neural pathways to help the person process and store their traumatic experience. In a way, it is the brain’s way of coping so that you can survive that difficult period of your life, but this kind of coping is not sustainable for you in the long run. These dysfunctional neural pathways are usually not healthy or sustainable for long term living. There are cognitive distortions that will need to be worked through to begin healing. But the amazing thing about the brain is how easily it can adapt and change. And with therapy, it can heal itself.
EMDR therapy focuses on modifying these dysfunctional pathways so that new and healthier neural pathways can be created. In other words, the brain will be retrained so that it can better regulate itself. Through guided sessions, the therapist would help patients through painful memories by redirecting and creating new ways of thinking. These new neural pathways can help lessen the pain that comes from the trauma of the past. With consistent EMDR therapy, the patient’s distress that comes from thinking about what happened to them will lessen and become endurable over time.
We provide our clients with easy, at-home techniques that can be used outside our therapy sessions. Employing these methods yourself can help you understand that you are no longer powerless to your disorder. You will know how to take back your life from what happened to you and move past that pain into a better future.
With consistent therapy sessions, certain issues such as anxiety disorders, PTSD, panic disorders, OCD, and other anxiety-based disorders can be managed, if not resolved, more efficiently.
Medications never really fixed PTSD. In fact, the World Health Organization does not recommend any medications for PTSD. Medications are typically not very effective. EMDR is a non-medication, effective treatment. The truth is, for most psychiatric and mental health conditions, medication alone is not the recommended treatment plan. However, most people think of medication as the first-line treatment when, in fact, other treatments are more effective.
EMDR also has the advantage of requiring fewer sessions than talk therapy to be effective. While conventional wisdom will have you believe that it can take a patient years to recover from a traumatic event with other forms of therapy, some studies have shown that single-trauma victims can recover in as few as three 90-minute EMDR sessions.
Other studies have shown that EMDR can be used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder in combat veterans after approximately 12 sessions, and even those who haven’t experienced serious trauma but live with depression & low self-esteem may benefit from regular EMDR sessions.
What Can EMDR Therapy Help With?
EMDR has been used to treat a variety of problems such as:
- Addictive disorders
- Attention deficits
- Behavior disorders
- Sleep Disorders
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
And brain conditions such as:
- Autism Spectrum Issues
- Cerebral Palsy
Note: The list above is a short list to provide a sense of various problems that have been addressed with EMDR. Contact us if you are looking for help with a specific problem that is not listed.
Who Can Benefit Most From EMDR Therapy?
Patients with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD can occur in anyone. More often, this disorder is preceded by a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, fatal accident, active combat, or personal abuse. Each person has their own triggering event and the symptoms can vary widely from person to person. Two people may experience the same trauma, but each will be affected in different ways. They will experience a PTSD unique to them. There are even patients who experience symptoms of PTSD while supporting someone close to them who experienced the trauma itself. This secondary trauma is not any less significant than primary PTSD.
Patients with PTSD often feel exhausted or tense. That’s because their brain still hasn’t turned off its autonomic switch, so they’re in a perpetual state of responding to a threat. This fight/flight/freeze response is due to the release of cortisol and adrenaline, stress hormones that the body secretes during times of danger. But with PTSD, the danger has been gone for some time, but the brain has yet to understand that it is time to be calm again. Instead, the brain still thinks it’s under threat and continues to release cortisol and adrenaline which contributes to the extreme alertness and constant vigilance these patient exhibit.
PTSD can affect everyone. For instance, children six years or younger often reenact their trauma through play or have ongoing nightmares about the event.
Someone with PTSD may experience:
- Vivid flashbacks
- Intrusive thoughts
- Intense distress at real or symbolic reminders of their trauma
- Physical sensations like pain, nausea, sweating
- Disturbed sleep
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sensitive startle reflex
- Aggressive or irritable behavior
- Emotional numbness
- Feelings of detachment from others
- Avoidance of people or situations associated with the event or trauma
If you see these symptoms present in your life or the life of a loved one, please seek help right away. These patients can suffer from suicidal ideation or self-harm thoughts. There is hope. With EMDR treatment, a better future awaits them.
PTSD and other mental health problems go hand-in-hand. Most patients with PTSD have other mental health issues such as anxiety or depression. Often, their symptoms overlap.
Patients with Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety is normal but when a person regularly feels disproportionate levels of anxiety that makes simple tasks difficult, it becomes a debilitating disorder. Ongoing anxiety leads to excessive nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worry as well as physical symptoms like increased blood pressure or nausea. Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the country, and many people who have it are on medications and doing other conventional therapy.
In recent years, many physicians have chosen EMDR therapy as a proven treatment to help their anxious patients. EMDR therapy has better outcomes since it addresses both the emotional and mental aspects of their patient’s anxiety in a natural therapeutic way that prescribing medications cannot.
There are many different anxiety disorders:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Specific phobias
- Social anxiety disorder
- Separation anxiety disorder
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
Someone with anxiety may experience:
- Intense excessive worry and fear about everyday situations
- Repeated episodes of intense fear or terror that peak within a few minutes
- Disproportionate reaction of alarm to things that may seem harmless
- Avoids places or situations due to lack of control from anxious response
Patients with Depression
Depression is a mental health disorder persistently characterized by a loss of interest in activities and persistently low mood that borders on despair. Depression can happen to anyone, even children. It is not correct to say someone is sad when they are depressed. There are many different kinds of depression.
- Major depressive disorder
- Persistent depressive disorder
- Seasonal affective disorder
- Psychotic depression
- Bipolar depression
- Postpartum depression
Some can be caused by a specific life stress, like postpartum depression, while others, like major depression, are more cyclical and recur every few years. Regardless of which kind you suffer from, depression is a medical condition without a known cause. But there is usually some combination of biological, psychological and social sources of distress that played a factor in the patient’s mental state of well-being.
Someone with depression may have:
- Difficulty performing simple daily tasks
- Lose interest in their usual activities
- Sleep problems
- Extreme fatigue that doesn’t go away with rest
- Appetite changes
- Feelings of guilt or helplessness
- Thoughts of suicide
EMDR therapy has helped many people. We want to help our patients. There is a burden that comes with having a chronic issue like PTSD or depression, but thanks to EMDR, those problems can be better managed and even resolved.
EMDR Therapy Available At These Locations:
PLEASE NOTE: We are not an emergency clinic. If you have an emergency, please dial 911. Also, we are not contracted with any court system and do not provide court ordered services related to child custody or other matters. For a list of services that we provide and do not provide, please visit our What We Treat page.
EMDR Therapy is one of only two therapies recommended to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and can cure single-incident PTSD in as few as 6 sessions.
All of Serin Center therapists are trained in EMDR Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and we conduct training and supervision for other therapists to obtain licensure.
Source: EMDR Institute, Inc.