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What Is EMDR and AF-EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a powerful and effective therapy for the treatment of trauma. EMDR therapy uses bilateral stimulation to support the release of  information trapped in the mind and body, freeing people from disturbing images, body sensations, debilitating emotions, and restrictive beliefs.  EMDR has been extensively researched as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and is considered to be an evidence-based therapy.


EMDR is also helpful in treating psychological effects of smaller traumas that manifest in symptoms of depression, anxiety, phobias, low self-esteem, creativity blocks, and relationship difficulties. Not only does healing occur much more rapidly than in traditional therapy, but as a result of EMDR’s clearing of emotional and physical blockages, many people also experience a sense of joy, openness, and deep connection with others. 


Attachment-focused EMDR (AF-EMDR) is client-centered and emphasizes  reparative therapeutic relationships.  Developed and pioneered by Laurel Parnell , this type of therapy focuses on reparative work within ourselves.

AF-EMDR extends the use and benefits of EMDR and bilateral stimulation for use with clients who have been typically less responsive to traditional EMDR protocols, due to acute or chronic relational trauma and attachment deficits.  These clients often present in therapy as depressed, with relationship difficulties or problems at work. They don’t feel fully alive. Childhood trauma has impacted their sense of safety and capacity to form close emotional relationships in adulthood.

Information cited from

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At Serene Pathways we practice with a psychodynamic lens that allows for an enhanced look into early experiences in one’s life, including attachment styles and traumas that continue to impact functioning. Since adding Attachment Focused EMDR into our practice, clients have reprocessed their trauma on a deeper level and are forming healthier relationships with themselves and those around them. We are passionate about helping those who are impacted by addiction and trauma find a safe space to begin or continue their work toward healing.

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