Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy

Trauma. Anxiety. Grief. Fear.

Sometimes, really bad things happen to really good people. And you are trying. You are trying to forget, trying to move on, but it feels like you and your body just can’t move past the bad stuff. You feel anxious, triggered by a certain sound, smell, or date, and it just feels like your body is stuck in the pain and trauma. Maybe you are even wondering if you will ever feel safe, if you will ever be okay? Do you feel “frozen” in mind and body? Maybe it even feels hard to go on.

If you have experienced:

A recent traumatic event?

A historic traumatic event?

Are you a survivor of sexual abuse?

Do you struggle with phobias such as fear or bugs, flying, driving, or getting blood drawn?

Have you been the victim of a natural disaster?

If so, EMDR therapy could be right for you.

If you have done an internet search for “trauma therapy” it’s likely you have run across the term EMDR. What is all the hype about EMDR and why do so many folks swear by it? Well- I am glad you asked!

What is EMDR?

EMDR therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a comprehensive psychotherapy approach that has been successful in helping clients heal from trauma and used to address other adverse life experiences that contribute to problems in daily living.

EMDR works to reprocess distressing, disturbing, and traumatic events, regulate the emotions associated with them, and allow for an increase in effective coping skills. From there, you can feel a greater sense of emotional stability, and install an alternative positive self-belief.

The theory of EMDR is that current difficulties are informed by past memories that continue to be sources of distress and emotional confusion. Change is understood as a byproduct of reprocessing past and present-day experiences due to the alteration of memory storage and linkages to adaptive memory networks. With EMDR, dual attention bilateral stimulation involves using eye movements, tactile taps, and or/ auditory tones while the client is simultaneously focusing on their experience.

Disturbing events disrupt the way we store information, and in turn the way we store memories. Past experiences that are negative and inadequately processed are effectively disconnected, isolated from adaptively stored experiences. It’s hard to use that information in future templates.

Will we jump right into the deep end with the tough stuff? I don’t think I can talk about my trauma.

Nope! I need you to feel safe. First we will get to know each other and, together, we will learn and utilize grounding techniques such as Safe/ Calm Place. We’ll also take our time memory mapping (giving me the highlights, we will skim through and see what stands out). We will also do some Resource Development Installation to strengthen qualities you will need during your course of treatment.

Who is a good fit for EMDR?

Does the past still feel present? Negative emotionally charged memories tend to be a good indicator there are unresolved emotions and attachments to this particular moment in time. Feeling triggered? Let’s get you “unstuck” and allow your body and your mind to do what it could not do at the time of the event (s). If you are managing your hurt, my goal is help you get to a place where you can heal; A place where you can pull up this memory in your mind without feeling distressed or uneasy. EMDR is a good fit for those who are looking to self-regulate and those who are looking to respond adaptively to past events, triggers, or trauma that would otherwise have sent then into a tailspin.

Let’s clear up some myths about EMDR:

EMDR is not hypnosis.

EMDR will not help you uncover lost memories.

EMDR is not just for severe trauma.

EMDR is not a “new” therapy.

EMDR is not only for people with PTSD.

EMDR does not have to be the only form of therapy you do!

Can I still see my regular therapist?

Absolutely! We can complete EMDR sessions outside your regular talk/ psychotherapy. Think of it as an additional tool to compliment your current treatment plan, or a way to gain momentum if you are feeling stagnant in progress. We work with clients, and their therapists, in Raleigh, Durham, Asheville, Charlotte, and everywhere in between.

What symptoms or past events can EMDR help with?


Panic attacks


Chronic Illness

Grief & Loss


Performance Anxiety

PTSD and other stress-related disorders 

Sexual Assault

Violence/ Abuse

Substance Use 

EMDR therapy may be a great fit for you- let’s talk about how we can customize our approach.

Our clinician, Megan Peedin LCSW LCAS-A  is an EMDR trained therapist, who received her training through am EMDRIA accredited provider. Megan has training to offer EMDR safely for clients seeking telehealth services in North Carolina! Still not sure? That’s okay!  Self-schedule a free 20-minute consult with our Durham-based therapist to take the first step, the hard but exciting step, in learning more about EMDR therapy and getting unstuck!

Want more info? Check out these links: