Healing Series: EMDR Therapy

Fellow adoptee and therapist, Lesli A. Johnson, MFT teaches us all about EMDR therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing by Dr. Francine Shapiro). We talk about what it is and Lesli explains why it is so incredibly effective for adoptees.

Show Notes


Topics We Discussed

  • Last week for the listener survey and giveaway! Listen for the link!
  • What is EMDR Therapy?
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing by Dr. Francine Shapiro (to eliminate stress associated with traumatic memories)
  • Helps the left and right brain hemispheres communicate, helps to store memories in a more healthy way
  • Stimulate the left and right hemispheres by tapping, eye movement, paddles/hand pulsers, or auditory tones
  • When we get triggered we can feel like we are being re-traumatized
  • For adoptees, it’s helpful because you can work with memories that are implicit (eg. babies don’t have language for what happened at relinquishment)
  • The Body Keeps Score by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk
  • Adoptees can sometimes feel ‘ungrounded’, unlovable or lost
  • Attachment Focused EMDR by Dr. Laurel Parnell
  • Tapping in resources like a peaceful place, a protective figure, a wise figure and a nurturing figure
  • The brain can then respond with the pleasure centre of the brain and bring these positive resources to us when we call on them; we can take these with us outside the therapy office
  • Pre-birth protocol for adoptees, we can imagine what things were like
  • EMDR is evidence-based and curative
  • Especially effective in working with trauma (like separation trauma that adoptees experience)
  • Brain science demonstrates that babies remember, our bodies remember
  • EMDR International Association www.emdria.org
  • Lesli’s other healing episode http://www.adopteeson.com/listen/2016/12/15/surviving-the-holidays
  • Lesli’s latest article about EMDR http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/adoption-trauma-healing-role-of-emdr-therapy-0216175