EMDR Therapy in Kitchener-Waterloo

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a highly effective therapy for treating a wide range of issues, including anxiety, depression, PTSD, phobias, body image issues, anger, addiction, and grief.

For the moment, John and Lauren are the only clinicians at Transformation Counselling trained in EMDR. They hold extensive post-graduate training in EMDR from the Niagara Stress and Trauma Clinic, Dr. Philippe Gauvreau, Kathleen Martin, LCSW, and Kathy Karn, RP. John is a Certified EMDR Therapist with the EMDR International Association, and Lauren is nearly finished the certification process. John also facilitates trainings for other therapists in EMDR, and provides individual and group consultation to EMDR clinicians looking to improve their skill.

In other words, our EMDR clinicians really know their stuff.

How EMDR Therapy Works

EMDR makes use of new research into how the brain works. Basically, when the brain is working optimally, it’s able to process negative experiences into neutral memories. We all have memories that we look back on and think, “That sucked, but it’s over, and I’m okay now.”

Other times, our brain isn’t capable of processing things optimally, and our experiences become “stuck” as stress stored in our mind and body. This happens with negative events that are overwhelming, occur early in life, and/or happen repetitively. Unconscious imprints of such events continue to weigh on us, and, without us even knowing it, they inform the way we see and interact with ourselves and the world around us.

As an example, imagine an adult woman who was bullied in school. If her brain was able to process the experience, she might think back to that time and think, “That sucked, those kids must have had bad home lives or something, but I’m safe now.” 

On the other hand, if her brain wasn’t able to process her experience, the memory would become “stuck.” She would develop unconscious, generalized negative beliefs about herself and the world, and she would have a negative emotional response toward anything that reminded her of the experience. Worst of all, the negative beliefs she developed about herself and the world would be reinforced by later negative experiences, getting stronger with each passing year. A lot of anxiety, depression, and other psychological issues develop this way.

EMDR works by identifying the key negative experiences that led to your current issues and using evidence-based techniques to give your brain the time and space it needs to do the processing it wasn’t able to do at the time. It is much more effective at addressing core issues than talk therapy, and people are often astonished at how powerful and rapid EMDR can be.

For more information, check out this page on what EMDR sessions look like. If you live in Waterloo, Kitchener, or Cambridge and you think EMDR could help you, call us at 519-954-4900 or email info@transformationcounselling.com to set up an appointment.