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Neural brain activity

Oftentimes, when we're working with traumatic memories or content, we have difficulties processing internal and external cues to the various events. Sometimes, people feel like they are the walking wounded and aren’t able to resolve any feelings in their emotions, thoughts, or body sensations. They continue to have memories and content arrive in their brains that stimulate the processing of difficult information. We are able to work with the adaptive memory system and EMDR to create what’s called “disconfirming experiences“.

These experiences offer patients a way to allow access to information that is adaptive and healing to their brains. Oftentimes, this information is already present, and just needs to be recognized and acknowledged as we access the brain’s natural ability to heal. The neural networks have been operating in a path similar to something that you would see on a dirt road. EMDR is able to remove the gravel and pave the dirt road with an adaptive memory network (positive beliefs and memories), to create a smooth transition between both sides of the brain.

When we create an alternate experience, it confirms that existence of strong, healthy and powerful beliefs and sense of self. We are able to create disconfirming experiences and install positive memories. In other words, we “disconfirm” the original experience in the body, emotion and thought. This reshapes the sense of self and being in the world. The beauty of it is that the information is already there; we simply stimulate and reprocess with EMDR to promote their own best self. In this way, we rewire the brain in both hemispheres to create this adaptive information and create confirming positive experiences for the patient. The world becomes a place that is no longer scary. We can function and live ideally in a positive, peaceful place that allows us to be nurtured and loved. This is the beauty of EMDR.

For more information on EMDR, and the phases of EMDR therapy, please visit the resources listed below.


EMDR International Association | EMDRIA.ORG

Willow Creek Counseling | FAQ page

About the Author: Kathy Couch, LCSW, CT is an EMDRIA-Certified EMDR practitioner and Consultant-in-Training (CIT), and a Board Certified Supervisor with the Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses.


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