AndRew Purchin, LCSW

Psychotherapy and EMDR

For Adults, Adolescents and Children

Get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable and open a world of possibility...



"EMDR is proving to be the silicon chip of psychotherapy; it allows people to process incredible amounts of material in a shockingly short time."

- Michael Elkin,Ph.D.

Director, Center for Collaborative Solutions

EMDR is short for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is powerful multi-modal psychotherapy process which is used to treat trauma and phobias.   

Some liken the experience of EMDR to be like going through a dark tunnel with your foot on the accelerator.  We go for the most painful moments and desensitize and reprocess them so that you are completely clear of distress.

When emotionally disturbing events have occurred in your life, the brain is often unable to process the experience as it normally would. Instead, the negative thoughts and feelings of the traumatic event can get "trapped" in the nervous system, with all of the accompanying sights, sounds, thoughts, and feelings. EMDR utilizes bilateral stimulation - either through eye movements or other forms of gentle, rhythmic stimulation - sound and tapping,  which activates both sides of the brain, allowing for a release of painful emotional experiences from your nervous system.

When we first meet, I will take a history and assess to see if EMDR will be an appropriate treatment for you right now.  People do need to have a certain amount of stability in their life to be able to benefit from EMDR.  I will work with you on resource development if you are not ready to do EMDR right away.  

As part of that assessment, we will locate specific targets from your life which have been traumatic for you.  For some, it is a major events, such as violence, car accidents and war experiences.  For others, it may be what are considered small traumas, the critical facial expression of a care-giver or  getting lost somewhere as a child.  I define trauma as anything that has been disturbing for you, large or small. 

I ask, “How disturbing each trauma is when you think of it right now? Tell me on a scale of 0-10 with 10 being the most disturbing.”  This way we get a clear baseline of the traumatic experiences in your life.  I want everyone to be clear of all of the negative effects from past hurts.  And if you want the same thing, I’ll do every thing in my power to help you.

Studies consistently indicate that EMDR therapy is very effective in helping you process emotionally painful and traumatic experiences. In fact, extensive scientific research has shown that EMDR is the most effective and rapid method for healing PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

Ross Cohen, LPC  A counselor in Portland Oregon says this on his website:

Research studies and clinical evidence indicate a high degree of effectiveness with other conditions as well, including anxiety and depression, fears and phobias, addictions and panic attacks, physical and sexual abuse, accidents and injuries, grief and loss, sleeplessness and excessive worries, childhood trauma and low self-esteem, as well as relationship problems. EMDR is very effective for overcoming dental fear, anxiety, and phobia.

A study comparing the effectiveness of Prozac vs. EMDR showed that EMDR was more successful than Prozac in achieving substantial and sustained reductions in depression and Post-traumatic stress disorder (an anxiety disorder).

- The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, January 2007

EMDR therapy is not only very effective, but efficient as well. Processing even the most difficult memories can be achieved in a fraction of the time it would have taken with traditional talk therapy. EMDR is very effective for enhancing skills and resources, such as confidence, relaxation, focus, and motivation. EMDR is also widely used to help people improve certain aspects of their life (known as "performance optimization"), such as public speaking; various types of competition; or academic, athletic, work, and stage performance.

"The speed at which change occurs during EMDR contradicts the traditional notion of time as essential for psychological healing."

- Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD

Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine