Ms. Ford has been fully trained in Eye Movement and Reprocessing / Desensitization therapy. This unique and innovative form of treatment targets traumas that may become “locked” in the brain in an unhealthy way when a person is under unusual stress (such as during a rape, childhood sexual or physical abuse, domestic violence situation, accident or the like). EMDR can also be used for events that may not be seen as “traumatic” in the traditional sense, but can have a corrosive effect on a person (such as a history of a lot of teasing in school, or ongoing childhood illness). Usually these experiences can be very damaging to self-esteem, such as when someone forms negative beliefs about themselves or their environment as a part of that experience (examples include: “I should have been able to stop it,” It’s all my fault,” “I’m crazy,” “The world is not a safe place,” “I can’t trust other people,” or “I always attract bad things to me.”) EMDR seeks to “unlock” these traumatic memories and allows the client undergoing this form of treatment to move towards healthy resolution and closure.
EMDR is an innovative form of treatment discovered by psychotherapist Francine Shapiro in 1987. She discovered that rapidly moving the eyes back and forth (similar to what occurs during the REM phase of sleep) while processing a negative event helps a person become less upset and helps them better work through their difficulties. Since then, it has been further developed into a highly specialized form of therapy. Part of what makes EMDR so effective is that it does not just address your thoughts and feelings, as regular psychotherapy does, but creates a mind-body connection. This is achieved by assisting you in combining your memories with how your body feels, what emotions you may have, what negative thoughts come up for you, and what sensations you experience in your body as you remember these past experiences. EMDR works by both de-sensitizing you to past experiences, so that old memories no longer seem so upsetting, and by helping you move towards closure as you begin to think about your past and your place in it in a new way.
Prior to beginning EMDR, Ms. Ford will ask a lot of focused questions to get a sense of what negative or traumatic experiences you may have gone through, and how they may affect you today. Please note: EMDR can work even when you may not fully remember what has happened to you! In many cases, when a person undergoes a severely traumatic experience, they may not remember all or some of what has happened. Once a full history of your experiences has been gained, EMDR may be used to help “unlock” the harmful effects of this lingering memory or event. EMDR can be used with children or adults. In an EMDR session, Ms. Ford will use bi-lateral (using both sides of the body) stimulation to help you better access these events. EMDR traditionally used back-and-forth eye movements, but it has now been discovered that any sort of back-and-forth stimulation, whether it is with your eyes, by tapping both sides of the body, or through tones that you listen to through headphones all work equally well. We will explore which method will work best for you.