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Dwan Milam-Reed, PhD, LCSW-S, LICSW

Dr. Dwan Reed is certified in EMDR. She is a full member of EMDR International Association (EMDRIA).

What is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a form of therapy that helps people heal from trauma or other distressing life experiences. EMDR therapy has been extensively researched and has demonstrated effectiveness for trauma.

Sessions with Dr. Reed

Dwan offers 50 minute EDMR sessions and 2 hour intensives.

“Often, when something traumatic happens, it seems to get locked in the nervous system with the original picture, sounds, thoughts, feelings, and so on. Since the experience is locked there, it continues to be triggered whenever a reminder comes up. It can be the basis for a lot of discomfort and sometimes a lot of negative emotions, such as fear and helplessness, that we can’t seem to control. These are really the emotions connected with the old experiences that are being triggered.”

“The eye movements we use in EMDR seem to unlock the nervous system and allow your brain to process the experience. That may be what is happening in REM, or dream, sleep: The eye movements may be involved in processing the unconscious material. The important thing to remember is that it is your brain that will be doing the healing and that you are the one in control.”

“In EMDR the eye movements appear to be like an accelerator. If the set is allowed to continue, the processing can be accelerated and the unpleasant memories can be passed through rapidly. If the eye movements are stopped prematurely, however, the unpleasant sensations will be experienced longer…Although unpleasant emotions and sensations may arise during EMDR treatment, they are caused merely by the processing of old memories and present no current danger…” The idea is to let the brain become unlocked, and let the information process through.”

“The brain has stored the disturbing memory in a memory network that isolates it and prevents it from connecting with more useful, adaptive information and that when EMDR processing begins, the appropriate connections are made.”

“Disturbing events can be stored in the brain in an isolated memory network. This prevents learning from taking place. The old material just keeps getting triggered over and over again. In another part of the brain, in a separate network, is most of the information you need to resolve it. It’s just prevented from linking up to the old stuff. Once we start processing with EMDR, the two networks can link up. New information can come to mind and resolve old memories.”

“…when this disturbing memory is unlocked and allowed to process, the reservoir of negative emotions is drained along with it…regardless of how disturbing the emotions might be as they come up, nothing negative is being put in. Instead, it is being let out.”

Following are some excerpts from “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing” (2nd edition, 2001) Francine Shapiro