How does EMDR work?

When traumatic experiences, like violence or abuse, happen and the person’s intense emotions can’t be expressed at the time, it can overwhelm the nervous system.  It can makes it difficult, or impossible, for the brain to process the experience as it normally would.  Consequently, the upsetting thoughts and feelings from the traumatic event become suppressed, or “trapped” in the nervous system, and cause disruptions in the normal emotional functioning of the person.

The EMDR method does two important things:  it “unlocks” negative memories and emotions stuck in the nervous system, and it helps the brain process and release the experience.

Using EMDR, the therapist gently guides the client to revisit the traumatic event. When the memory is recalled, the feelings are re-experienced in a new way, enabling them to choose their reactions, rather than feel powerless. There may be a few or many experiences connected to the negative feelings.  The therapy sessions will continue until the memories and emotions are relieved.

For information about making an In-Office Consultation Appointment


CALL (310) 374-4173

Day & Evening/Weekend Appointments

E-Mail: [email protected]

Carol Boulware, MFT, Ph.D.
Licensed Marriage, Family Therapist – #MFT11632
ABS Certified Sex Therapist #1466
Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress
EMDR Certified Therapist- Level II- 1994
Somatic Experiencing Practitioner
3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550
Los Angeles, California 90401
(310) 374-4173
Additional offices in Santa Monica & Redondo Beach