EMDR Therapy

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, is a technique that therapists use to treat people experiencing psychological distress. I currently offer EMDR Therapy sessions at my office in Sachse, Texas. I am Basic Trained EMDR therapist, which entailed 40 hours of classroom training and 10 hours consultation combined. I received my training by an EMDRIA approved trainer. I am currently working towards my EMDR certification and will be one of few certified EMDR therapists in North Texas. 

Any event that has had a lasting negative effect on the self or psyche is by its very nature “traumatic”. Events that happen to us when we are in our younger years and throughout our life shape and mold us, for better or worse. Some of us can chose to use those situations as life lessons and move on, never letting it affect us again. Others may not be able to do that. It just stays with you, tucked away until it is triggered, affecting you over and over again; sometimes even years apart. We can’t seem to escape it; no matter how hard we try.

“One of the basic premises of EMDR is that most pathology is based on early life experiences. When a trauma occurs, it gets 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 of a lot of discomfort and sometimes a lot of negative emotions such as fear and hopelessness that we can’t seem to control.

These emotions you are feeling are really the emotions connected with the old experience that is being triggered. The goal of EMDR treatment is to rapidly metabolize the dysfunctional residue from those past experiences and transform it into something useful.” (Excerpt from EMDR Basic Principles, Protocols and Procedures. Second Edition. Dr. Francine Shapiro).

The eye movements (or Bi-lateral Stimulation) in EMDR seem to unlock the nervous system and allow your brain to process the experience and help it break up and dissipate, almost like you are cutting the cord between the original event and the emotions that have been triggered for you. Just like your body wants to heal when you have a wound, so does you brain.

Four questions to ask yourself if you are considering EMDR treatment.

1) Do you want to change?

Honestly, you should ask yourself this question before you begin any type of therapy. If you are happy with the way things are, even if it dysfunctional, then EMDR would not be for you. If you aren’t happy with the way things are, but because it has been your norm for so long, anything else feels foreign and scary, then it may not be the right time. If you are unhappy with the way things are and want to make long-term changes, your therapist can provide you insight into the treatment and answer any of your questions.

2) Are you prepared to work hard?

EMDR is tough. I mean really tough. Did I mention it is tough? Often times it is said therapy makes things worse before it gets better. How could it be otherwise? You have to talk about very uncomfortable things; things you may have been very good at stuffing or avoiding for some time.

With EMDR in particular, you are reliving what may be some of the worst times of your life, if even only for a few seconds at a time, but the rewards you could reap can far outweigh the difficulties of the treatment. Although EMDR can be a fast acting therapy, every person is different. Some people have experience relief in as few as two sessions, and some take far longer. There is not set timeline for treatment and the unknown of that can be scary as well.

3) Do you have adequate coping skills?

Although coping skills is built into your EMDR treatment plan, it is always good to have some of your own to use in addition. Your brain may continue to process information between sessions. “Processing” may come in the form of dreams, random thoughts or memories coming to mind or bodily sensations. You want to be able to cope with that material, which for some may be intrusive.

4) Do you have adequate support?

What does your support system look like? If you chose to do EMDR it is imperative you have some support in place. This could be in the form of family and/or friends who can nurture you through the process as needed.

5) Are you emotionally stable?

That may seem like a weird question. I mean that is why some people seek out therapy, to better handle their emotions. For some, you may need to spend some time with your therapist working to resolve other issues so you can get to a healthy baseline before venturing into EMDR. You don’t have to be a master of your emotions however, being able to name your feelings and adequately cope with them prior to starting EMDR is highly recommended.

Individual, Family & Group Therapy

Counseling in Sasche, texas

I am Counselor Jennifer Hughes and I provide professional therapy sessions for individuals and families. I like to help you address your concerns in a nonjudgmental and compassionate way. Seeking out therapy to address your problems can be difficult for anyone. I commend you for taking the first step and I hope I will be able to make the process a little bit easier for you.

If you live in Sachse, Wylie, Garland, Rowlett, Rockwall, Plano, Mesquite and surrounding areas and you need individual or family counseling, EMDR Therapy, or DBT Therapy contact me today. I provide a compassionate non-judgmental therapeutic session, that allows you the freedom to achieve your best life.    

Counseling Services

Jennifer Hughes Counseling

I am invested in using the training and learning I have developed through study and experience to help you and your family. I will both accept you where you currently are, as well as help you acknowledge that change needs to take place. Change is needed in order for you to become more functional in day-to-day life.

DBT  |  EMDR  |  Adolescent Issues  |  Anxiety  |  Depression  |  Family Conflict  |  Anger Management  |  Behavioral Issues  |  Self-Esteem  |  Life Transitions  |  Grief & Loss  |  Communication Skills

Counselor Jennifer Hughes helps families and individuals of all ages

by providing counseling and wellness services that foster healing, inspire growth, and renew hope.