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Offered at our Downey location & is an Out of Pocket service

EMDR for Trauma

Have you or a loved one experienced a traumatic life event, such as an accident, surviving abuse or assault, or combat and warfare?  Do you struggle with flashbacks, constant reminders of the past, or nightmares? Are you avoiding certain situations and people who may act as triggers?  


We are here for you.  


Most therapists offer some form of treatment for trauma – but not all can offer EMDR, which sets Heredia Therapy Group apart. Learn more about our EMDR clinician, Patricia de La Torre, MSW, LCSW 78078, at the top under Meet the Team section (Downey clinicians). 


If you already know what EMDR is and are interested in signing up, contact us today!  If not, this page is all about helping you recognize warning signs of posttraumatic stress and how EMDR can help.  


EMDR Treatment

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Do I need therapy for trauma?

Most people think about military veterans or police officers when they think about trauma and PTSD.  However, nearly everyone will experience a traumatic life event in their lifetime, such as:


  • Car accidents 
  • Being the victim of a violent or criminal act
  • Death of a loved one
  • Surviving an animal attack
  • Childhood abuse or neglect
  • Serious medical issues
  • Military combat
  • Surviving torture
  • Witnessing or experiencing domestic abuse


And yet, not all people who experience trauma will suffer the emotional after-effects, known as posttraumatic stress.  Posttraumatic stress is a cluster of symptoms that describe the mind’s reaction to something painful, disturbing, or terrifying.  Symptoms typically include:


Alertness

  • Constantly alert or cautious 
  • On guard or worried
  • Difficulty relaxing 

Avoidance

  • Fear of talking about the trauma
  • Avoiding certain people or situations
  • Use of drugs or alcohol to numb emotions

Flashbacks

  • Reliving traumatic memories
  • Frequent nightmares or night terrors
  • Often triggered or reminded of the trauma

Mood

  • Feeling depressed, irritable, or hopeless
  • Difficulty connecting with others
  • Feeling stuck or broken


If you or someone you care about are struggling with posttraumatic stress, don’t wait.  Left untreated, posttraumatic stress can affect your relationships, your quality of life, and your health. 


Heredia Therapy Group offers EMDR therapy for trauma because you deserve a chance to move forward from the past.  Contact us today to get started and read on to learn more about EMDR. 

What is EMDR?

EMDR stands forEye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, which is a method of therapy designed to help people process and recover from trauma. Therapists must be specially certified and trained to work using EMDR, and so not many clinicians can offer it. 


EMDR looks a bit different from most therapy, as the therapist will often instruct you to focus on a moving object (e.g., a light or their hand) at specific parts of your meetings.  This is known as “bilateral stimulation,”which activates the nerves and muscles in your visual system as you process traumatic information.


  • Traumatic memory
  • Accessing thoughts and feelings
  • Bilateral Stimulation
  • Reprocessing


The EMDR process helps you work through those thoughts and feelings and reprocess in ways that allow your brain to rewire and restoreitself.  Your mind becomes desensitized to painful triggers as you learn to adapt and manage uncomfortable emotions.  Over time, you can learn to move forward from the past with joy, purpose, and a newfound sense of self.  

EMDR typically follows eight main phasesin treatment.

1 -- Gathering History. This phase is just what it sounds like.  You and your therapist will talk about your life story, get to know each other a bit, and set up initial treatment goals.  We will also identify what EMDR therapists call “targets,” which are the memories that most strongly contribute to the trauma.


2– Preparation.  Next, your EMDR therapist will prepare and teach you to handle and process traumatic memories.  You will learn grounding techniques, stress reduction strategies, and other coping skills.  You will learn about bilateral stimulation, how it works, and why we use it.  Your therapist will spend as much time as needed with you in this phase to ensure that you feel ready before moving forward. 


3 -- Choosing Targets.  In this phase, you and the therapist identify targets to be processed in the upcoming sessions.  No surprises, everything is planned in advance.


4 –Desensitization.  As you and the therapist work through the targets, you will use bilateral stimulation to begin desensitizing your mind and providing an opportunity for reprocessing to occur.  This is the most active and sometimes challenging phase of EMDR, but your therapist is there to guide you throughout the process.  


5 – Installation. This phase is about using (or installing) a positive cognition to pair with your bilateral stimulation.  You and your therapist continue to check in to make sure the traumatic memories are bearable and not overwhelming.


6 - Body Scan. You will be asked to mentally scan your body to search for any sensations or tensions that signal residual discomfort regarding the target. If there are, you and the therapist might return to an earlier step.


7 – Closure. Every session ends with closure, that way you feel prepared to get back out there in the real world. You and your therapist can debrief, talk about how the session went, and discuss strategies for next time.  


8 – Reevaluation.  You and your therapist will closely monitor your wellbeing during and between sessions, and so the eighth phase involves making adjustments as needed and moving to new targets.  


As you can see, EMDR is quite the process – but we do it because it truly works.  You deserve a life free from posttraumatic stress, and we can help make that happen.  If you or a loved one is interested in trying out EMDR, contact Heredia Therapy Group today.

Interested? Let’s Work Together!

Interested in hearing more about Heredia Therapy Group?  Want to learn more about us?  Check out our Meet the Teamsection to read about who we are and what we do!  Our hope is that you feel welcome and encouraged so that, when you are ready, we can get started your wellness journey.  

Areas Served:

EMDR IS OFFERED AT OUR DOWNEY LOCATION ONLY.

Downey Office: Lynwood, Norwalk, Pico Rivera, South Gate, Santa Fe Springs, Bell Gardens, Paramount, Lakewood, Cerritos, Compton, Huntington Park