Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) is an integrative psychotherapy that helps individuals heal from emotional distress that has been caused by trauma or deeply difficult or disturbing life experiences.

EMDR is a relatively new therapy that has been proven to quickly and effectively reduce symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, anxiety, distressing memories, grief, and several other emotional issues. Until recently, treatment for these symptoms was often a lengthy and difficult process. For some individuals, remembering a trauma may feel as bad as going through it again because the images, sounds, feelings haven’t changed. Such memories can have a lasting negative effect that interferes with daily life and relationships. EMDR is a powerful and efficient option for those seeking lasting relief from distress and recovery from trauma.

After EMDR therapy, the patient will be able to recall traumatic events without the associated negative emotions and achieve a more peaceful state.


EMDR is a treatment that involves tactile stimulation (active bilateral stimulation) that repeatedly activates opposite sides of the brain. The therapist works with the client while the brain is being actively stimulated and gently guides them into recalling the distressing event and revisiting the negative thoughts, feelings, and experiences associated with it. EMDR appears to work in similar ways as to what happens during dreaming, and the body begins to process the distressing event. EMDR gives the client the ability to transform the meaning of a disturbing event due to his or her own accelerated emotional processing.

EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. This therapy seems to have a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information. Following a successful EMDR session, the individual will no longer relive the negative images, experiences, and feelings when the event is brought to mind. The individual still remembers what happened, but it will be significantly less upsetting. EMDR can be thought of as a physiologically based therapy that helps a person view disturbing instances in a new and less distressing way. EMDR therapy focuses on past and present events that cause distress and helps the client develop positive skills and attitudes for coping with future events.


EMDR is a physiologically based approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma but has also provided significant relief for the following.


  • assault
  • sexual abuse
  • childhood trauma/abuse
  • depression
  • anxiety/worry
  • accidents
  • grief and loss
  • injury


  • robbery
  • physical abuse
  • post-traumatic stress
  • panic attacks
  • phobias
  • natural disasters
  • trouble sleeping
  • illness

Nicole Ripley completed her EMDR based training in 2014 in San Francisco. She attended the PESI based EMDR 3-Day Intensive Training: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing under the training and facilitation of Linda A. Curran, BCPC, LPC, CACD, CCDPD. Nicole is not a member of EMDRIA.


For more information, please contact me.