What Is EMDR Therapy?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) was developed in 1987 by Dr. Francine Shapiro, and has rapidly become one of the most researched and validated approaches for treating trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression and a variety of other personal, professional and relationship challenges. 

Our brains are capable of making dynamic changes, and by creating new neural pathways we can literally change the way we think about and react to stressful situations or painful memories. EMDR has been shown to be the single most efficient and effective method for creating new neural pathways, and I have seen in my own practice just how effective EMDR can be in helping individuals, couples and families resolve even severe trauma. Instead of just learning to cope with emotional and physical distress, it is possible to find lasting relief and healing.

Who Can EMDR Help?

EMDR Therapy grew in popularity for its success in resolving trauma and helping veterans heal from PTSD, but that was only the starting point. In the past 30 years, EMDR treatment has been shown to support healing in children, adults, couples and families who are dealing with anxiety, depression, anger, addiction, chronic pain, nightmares, grief and loss and a variety of other emotional and physical challenges. 

It may be that you are experiencing sudden bouts of sadness, panic or anger, but aren’t sure if EMDR can really help you find healing and a new path forward. And, trauma, anxiety or a history of relationship challenges can leave you feeling stuck, helpless, broken, hopeless and/or isolated in your search for relief. But, you are not alone. I provide a warm, welcoming space where we can explore personal, professional and relationship blocks and decide together if EMDR is the right approach for your particular needs and therapy goals. Whether you are searching for one-on-one treatment or you want to find healing alongside your partner or family members, EMDR can help you clear out limiting beliefs and start living your ideal life. If you decide to try this effective approach to healing, I can help you find relief from distressing or painful thoughts, emotions and physical symptoms and heal at the biological and neurological level so you can live an empowered, fulfilling life.

How Does EMDR Work?

Many individuals have been coping with trauma, anxiety or depression for so long that they don’t realize it is possible to find healing. But, our brains are capable of making lasting changes. With an approach like EMDR, your brain can do more than just learn skills to manage symptoms. You can actually experience healing at the neurological level. 

Our brains conjure up dreams and subconsciously process information during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. EMDR is a scientifically validated therapy approach that incorporates bilateral stimulation, the same physiological principles that occur during REM, to help “reprogram” the brain to view stressful situations or painful memories in a less distressing way. By retelling the trauma story in a controlled, guided and specific way, you can teach yourself to experience memories in a less distressing way. 

While EMDR can be highly effective, I understand that it isn’t right for everyone. Insomuch, I often incorporate a variety of approaches, such as somatic therapy, attachment theory and PACT (Psycho-biological Approach to Couples Therapy), to supplement our work together. There is power in healing together as a couple or family as, oftentimes, the source of trauma or pain is a past relationship. Instead of wondering how you can support your child, partner or family member, we can create a therapy strategy in which you can take an active role in the healing process and help your loved ones realize their full potential. Regardless of what you or your family are experiencing, help is available and relief is possible. I will work with you to identify your goals, resolve trauma, envision solutions and find the best approach to help you better navigate life’s inevitable challenges and live a more peaceful, fulfilling life.

Meet Suzanne Forrester

I have been helping adults, children, couples and families in Longmont and Boulder find healing for over 20 years, and I recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to therapy. In addition to my extensive professional experience with EMDR, I have completed advanced training in PACT (Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy), to help clients better understand how their behaviors, feelings and early experiences impact their relationships. I have helped parents, children, individuals and couples recover from severe traumas and conflicts, and I can walk with you while things seem dark. Together, we can find a path to a lighter, more peaceful place.

I also bring nearly 30 years of personal and professional experience practicing and teaching yoga, mindfulness and other techniques shown to support physical, mental and emotional health and well-being. By incorporating somatic, or body-based, therapy approaches when appropriate, you can recognize when you feel stressed or “off” and find relief before feelings of distress can impact other areas of your life.

If you are ready to work toward meaningful and lasting healing, or if you have questions about EMDR Therapy, I invite you to contact me at (303) 859-7410 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.