“EMDR provides a way for people to free themselves from destructive memories and it seems to work, even in cases where years of conventional therapy have failed.” – Hugh Downs, 20/20, ABC News
For over three decades, EMDR has been providing relief to individuals struggling with a wide range of symptoms from general depression and anxiety to complex post-traumatic stress disorder. With extensive research and endorsement by the World Health Organization, EMDR is one of the most effective treatments available. A Kaiser study found that 100% of patients treated for single-incident trauma and 77% of those who experienced multiple-incident trauma no longer had a PTSD diagnosis after only six 50-minute EMDR sessions.
But what exactly is EMDR?
EMDR is the acronym for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy. It is a psychotherapy treatment that aids the brain in processing emotionally upsetting or traumatic memories and helps to alleviate the symptoms that arise from those traumas.
Francine Shapiro, the creator of EMDR, hypothesized that each of us has an information processing system, and every memory that we have is stored in memory networks throughout the brain. These memory networks contain thoughts, images, emotions and sensations.
When distressing life events occur, the brain can become overwhelmed, and unable to fully process those images, sensations, sounds, emotions and thoughts. As a result, the information becomes trapped and can either become cut off or recirculate through the brain without filtering through and processing normally. These trapped memories are called “unprocessed memories” and can result in symptomatic reactions, shape the development of personality and cause many mental health disorders.
With EMDR, patients can successfully alleviate the symptoms associated with these unprocessed memories. Through an eight-phase approach, the memories are processed and stored differently, and appropriately, in the brain. It’s like re-filing the filing cabinet in your head.
Who can benefit from EMDR?
EMDR was originally developed to relieve the distress that accompanies post-traumatic stress disorder. Studies have shown that EMDR is extremely effective for a variety of diagnoses including: phobias, panic disorders, generalized anxiety disorder, depression, panic attacks, performance anxiety, stress, grief, unexplained physical symptoms, and chronic pain.
Kristina studied under and trained with renowned EMDR expert, therapist and consultant Ana Gomez. Now, as a licensed marriage and family therapist, certified EMDR therapist, and approved consultant by EMDRIA, Kristina is skilled in using EMDR alongside other complementary psychotherapy techniques to help her clients process difficult memories and foster new and healthy connections.
Because of her extensive training and broad experience, Kristina is able to assist a wide range of patients from different backgrounds and age groups, including children and teens. And as an EMDRIA approved consultant, Kristina also provides consultation to other mental health professionals to help them become certified in EMDR and advance their clinical skills in utilizing EMDR with their clients.
EMDRIA Certified Therapist and Approved Consultant
Kristina is an EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) certified therapist and approved consultant. This means she is certified by the governing organization, EMDRIA, at the highest level to both practice and teach EMDR.
Why should you choose a practitioner certified by EMDRIA? Because it ensures the most rigorous standards for training and certification, so you know your therapist is qualified to provide the best therapeutic experience possible.
If you think you may benefit from a complimentary consultation, or are ready to pursue treatment for your trauma symptoms, contact Kristina for a free 15-minute phone consultation.
Kristina de Bree, MA, LMFT
Kristina de Bree is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) with a private practice in Valencia, California. She is an EMDRIA Certified Therapist and Approved Consultant, meaning she is certified at the highest level to both practice and teach EMDR. She specializes in trauma and trauma-related disorders.