What is trauma?

An experience is considered traumatic when it is extremely stressful or disturbing, leaves us feeling overwhelmed, and the resulting anxiety makes it difficult to cope.  At LCS we use EMDR, an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective, for treating trauma.  If you are experiencing symptoms of trauma, please read below for more information.

What is EMDR?

EMDR is a powerful psychotherapy approach that has helped an estimated two million people of all ages relieve many types of psychological distress. 

How does EMDR work?

 No one knows how any form of psychotherapy works neurobiologically or in the brain.  However, we do know that when a person is very upset, their brain cannot process information as it normally does.  One moment becomes “frozen in time,” and remembering a trauma may feel as bad as going through it the first time because images, sounds, and feelings haven’t changed.  Such memories have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person sees the world and the way they relate to other people. 

EMDR seems to have a direct effect on the way the brain processes information.  When normal information process is resumed, a person no longer relives the original images, sounds, and feelings when the event is brought to mind.  You still remember what happened, but it is less upsetting.  Many types of therapy have similar goals.  However, EMDR seems to be similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.  Therefore, EMDR can be thought of as a physiologically-based therapy that helps a person see disturbing material in a new and less reactive way.

What kinds of problems does EDMR treat?

Scientific research has established EMDR as effective for post-traumatic stress.  However, clinicians have also reported success using EMDR for treatment of the following conditions: 

  • Personality Disorders
  • Panic attacks
  • Complicated Grief
  • Dissociative Disorders
  • Disturbing Memories
  • Phobias
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders
  • Eating Disorders

  • Performance Anxiety
  • Stress Reduction
  • Addictions
  • Sexual and/or Physical Abuse
  • Pain Disorders
  • Triggers
  • Urge Reduction 

To learn more, visit the EMDR International Association’s website at