Online Psychotherapy Across Ontario

Open Door Therapist Counselling & Psychotherapy Across Ontario

Open the door to a happier, healthier you

EMDR Therapy

Holistically integrating the mind, body, and emotions to bring transformative and lasting change

flower - Open Door Therapist Counselling & Psychotherapy Across Ontario

Enjoying life shouldn't feel like an uphill battle

Anxiety, worries, major stress, or distressing memories can cloud the way we view life and make everyday moments feel unnecessarily challenging.

If a peaceful and happy life feels out of reach, EMDR therapy can clear the painful emotions and memories keeping you feeling stuck, and allow the natural pathways of your mind to work freely again.

There's hope, and healing is possible

Open Door Therapist Counselling & Psychotherapy

What is EMDR Therapy and what conditions can it help with?

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapeutic approach developed by Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s. Although it was first developed as treatment for trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder, over the years its use has been expanded and shown to be effective in treating anxiety, depression, fears, as well as strengthening self-esteem and self-worth.

EMDR therapy has a direct effect on the way your brain processes information. A therapeutic approach that goes beyond traditional ‘talk therapies’, EMDR has been proven to be effective to heal deep emotional wounds. EMDR views mental health symptoms as having arisen due to unprocessed experiences or memories. Using our brain’s natural ability to heal, EMDR helps our mind digest experiences that have become stuck so that we shed the negative emotions, beliefs, and behaviours attached to those memories. As a result, we can adopt healthy and positive beliefs, develop mental strength, and live more fully in the present.

EMDR has been shown to be effective in treating:

Why EMDR Therapy?

10 Benefits of EMDR Therapy

While EMDR can be a powerful tool for many, its effectiveness can vary depending on the individual and the specific issues you’re facing.

Here are some benefits you may experience through your EMDR journey!

EMDR has been noted for its ability to offer relatively swift relief from the distress associated with traumatic memories. The bilateral stimulation, typically through guided eye movements, allows the brain to reprocess these memories. Once reprocessed, these memories lose their emotional charge, meaning they become less distressing and more like ‘ordinary’ memories.

Clinical trials have shown EMDR to be effective in treating PTSD. The method can help individuals reprocess traumatic events, reducing or eliminating symptoms like flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety.

Unlike some other therapies, EMDR doesn’t necessarily require individuals to talk in detail about the traumatic event. Instead, the emphasis is on the client’s internal experiences during sessions. This can be a relief for those who find it too distressing to recount their traumas.

EMDR is not limited to cognitive restructuring, as in some talk therapies. Understanding that our bodies hold on to trauma, EMDR addresses the physiological storage of memory, offering a more comprehensive healing process. This means it encompasses the physical, emotional, and cognitive aspects of trauma.

Beyond PTSD, EMDR has been shown to help reduce other trauma-related symptoms. These include depression, anxiety, panic attacks, chronic feelings of guilt, shame, anger, resentment, regret, or fear, low self-esteem and self-worth, substance abuse, and recurring patterns of negative thinking or self-defeating behaviour.

EMDR therapy is based on the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) Model, which explains that when experiences are inadequately processed, present day problems can occur such as dysfunctional beliefs or behavioural issues. When we reprocess the experiences that were incorrectly stored in our memories, our beliefs can shift and our distressing symptoms are reduced. Our brain’s innate healing can resume and the stuck memories are reconsolidated and integrated within the larger adaptive memory networks.

While EMDR is best known for its effectiveness in treating trauma, it has also been used successfully for a range of other issues. These include phobias, addictions, anxiety disorders, and even performance enhancement.

EMDR not only helps in processing traumatic events but also equips individuals with the tools and insights to face future challenges. As traumatic memories are desensitized and reprocessed, the individual is able to develop mental strength and resiliency, which can feel empowering and foster a renewed sense of hope and self-worth.

A key part of the EMDR process is transforming negative beliefs (e.g., “I am powerless” or “I am in danger”) into positive ones (e.g., “I am in control” or “I am safe”). This shift can significantly improve an individual’s outlook and approach to life.

Many individuals undergoing EMDR therapy have reported a reduced need for medication, particularly those related to anxiety or depression. However, it’s essential to consult with a medical professional before making any decisions about medication.

About Us

What makes Open Door Therapist different?

In an ideal world, therapy would be… part of everyone’s life.

People often come into therapy believing they are broken or damaged, we know you are already ‘whole’ and no matter what you are struggling with – healing is possible.

Talk therapies alone are sometimes not enough to get to the root of the issue. We take a holistic approach, integrating your mind, body, and emotions and tapping into the inner strength you already have to allow for lasting and healing change.

It can be the hardest thing in the world to extend your hand out to a stranger and ask them for help when you have gone through pain or are still suffering. We know the courage it takes to do the work, open up and trust yourself enough to start. We are here when you’re ready to take that step.

We hold a safe and compassionate space for you to experience healing, walking alongside you every step of the way.

Nadia Henriksen MSc, MA, RP

Owner and Clinic Director
Registered Psychotherapist

Open Door Therapist Counselling & Psychotherapy Across Ontario

Safe Space, Safe Pace

You set the pace. This is a judgment-free space where you’re encouraged to share as much, or as little as you feel comfortable with.
Open Door Therapist Counselling & Psychotherapy Across Ontario

Personalized Approach

Your path to healing is as unique as your story. Here, therapy is tailored to meet your unique needs and to support your healing journey.
Open Door Therapist Counselling & Psychotherapy Across Ontario

Empathy In Action

Our therapeutic approach truly values and validates your story. Here, your feelings and experiences matter.
Open Door Therapist Counselling & Psychotherapy Across Ontario

Integrative Approach

We tailor our approach to you, considering your needs, goals, and personality, using a variety of modalities that best fit you.

Our Team

Therapists who offer EMDR Therapy

We believe in treatment for the ‘whole person’ – mind, body, and emotions. Our goal is to help you reconnect better with yourself, others and the world around you.
Nadia Henriksen | Registered Psychotherapist | Open Door Therapist Counselling & Psychotherapy | Across Ontario

Nadia Henriksen

Registered Psychotherapist

Kaitlin MacLean is a Social Worker at Open Door Therapist offering therapy across Ontario

Kaitlin MacLean

Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

Open Door Therapist Counselling & Psychotherapy

How EMDR Therapy Works

EMDR therapy is a more structured process than most other therapy approaches, consisting of 8 distinct phases. Each phase is completed at a pace that is comfortable for you, with relaxation techniques and self-regulation exercises being implemented throughout the process.

During the first session, we will review your history to understand your life experiences, challenges, and current symptoms to create your individualized treatment plan.

Open Door Therapist Counselling & Psychotherapy Across Ontario

1.

Planning

We will explain the EMDR process in detail and teach you a variety of stress management techniques to help you manage distressing emotions between sessions. and lay the foundation for the therapeutic work ahead.
Open Door Therapist Counselling & Psychotherapy Across Ontario

2.

Preparation

We identify the specific memories that will be targeted during therapy and help you pinpoint the image that represents the distressing event, the negative belief about yourself connected to it, the desired positive belief, and the related emotions and body sensations.
Open Door Therapist Counselling & Psychotherapy Across Ontario

3.

Assessment

During this phase, the therapist will lead you to recall the distressing memory while you engage in eye movements or other types of bilateral stimulation. This helps your brain reprocess the memory, leading to a decrease in emotional distress.
Open Door Therapist Counselling & Psychotherapy Across Ontario

4.

Desensitization

The goal of this phase is to strengthen the connection between the memory and your positive belief about yourself. More bilateral stimulation is used, which reinforces this new positive belief and helps replace the previously held negative belief.
Open Door Therapist Counselling & Psychotherapy Across Ontario

5.

Installation

After the distressing memory has been reprocessed and the positive belief strengthened, your therapist will ask you to do a mental scan of your body to identify any residual physical tension or discomfort. If any is found, it’s addressed with further EMDR processing.
Open Door Therapist Counselling & Psychotherapy Across Ontario

6.

Body Scan

Closure ensures you leave each therapy session feeling better than when you arrived, as we guide you through self-calming techniques that you’ve learned and can use between sessions, ensuring you’re equipped to manage any emotional distress that may arise.
Open Door Therapist Counselling & Psychotherapy Across Ontario

7.

Closure

At the beginning of subsequent sessions, your therapist will review the progress made and assess the changes experienced. If there are new areas of distress or if the previous targets have not been fully processed, these are identified and worked through in additional treatment phases.
Open Door Therapist Counselling & Psychotherapy Across Ontario

8.

Re-evaluation

You have the strength to heal within you; EMDR can help unlock it

Open Door Therapist Counselling & Psychotherapy Across Ontario

Questions about EMDR Therapy

Yes! As human beings, we all experience pain. From when we are very young and learning about ourselves and the world around us to when we are older and more mature, we all have life experiences, some of which may leave us feeling ashamed, betrayed, or deeply hurt. Most of the time, our minds digest these experiences as we continue to make meaning of our lives. However, some experiences are overly distressing for us and can become stuck in a way that prevents us from being able to digest them in a healthy way and move forward. Sometimes, we take on the responsibility of a burden or feel like we can’t let go of an experience. These ‘stuck’ moments are stored in our minds with unhealthy beliefs about ourselves and can serve as present-day triggers that cause emotions or behaviours we don’t understand or wish we could change.

EMDR is a gentle approach that supports the mind in digesting these painful experiences, allowing us to feel genuine self-compassion and relief from our painful symptoms.

While some people are comfortable sharing details about distressing memories or situations, others are not. With EMDR, you are not required to tell the therapist details about an experience as part of the healing process. Instead, during the process, you will focus on your emotions, beliefs, and physical sensations as your mind moves towards healing and health.

Yes. Our brains are able to change by making new connections and pathways. This means that even if you have been thinking about yourself or an experience a certain way for a long time, your thoughts can be shifted and new, healthy ones can be genuinely adopted and believed. In EMDR, while using bilateral stimulation (usually in the form of eye movements), a part of our brain called the amygdala is calmed, allowing for memories to be processed, and new beliefs to be identified.

No, you will not forget or erase any memories with EMDR. Once a memory is reprocessed, it loses its charge or the intense emotion it used to carry. As this occurs, we can start to feel differently about the experience, ourselves, and/or others. Eventually, we will be able to think about the memory without being disturbed by it. We shed the unhealthy belief about ourselves that was stored along with the memory and we are able to adopt a self belief that is positive, self-compassionate, adaptive, and, most importantly, one we truly believe.

While EMDR was initially developed to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), its application has expanded over the years. Today, EMDR is used to treat a range of issues, not just severe trauma or PTSD. This includes anxiety, depression, phobias, childhood trauma, grief, and even performance anxiety. The underlying principle is that many psychological issues are the result of unprocessed or distressing memories. EMDR helps in processing these memories, making it applicable for various challenges beyond just severe traumas.

The length of EMDR therapy can vary based on each person and the complexity of the issues. Some people might experience relief after a few sessions, while others with more complex traumas might require longer. In general, with regular sessions, it can take anywhere from 3-6 months to start feeling relief and changing the patterns of our life-long thoughts and beliefs to up to two years for more complex trauma. As for the length of each stage, we will work through them at a pace that is comfortable for you, moving on only when you feel ready.

EMDR Therapy

What you can expect

Here are some benefits you may experience through your EMDR journey:

Get Started

How Do You Get Started?

Book a free 20-min consultation

Have a few questions? Book a free 20 minute phone or video consultation.

Book a 50-min appointment

If you’re ready to get started, you can book directly online.

Send us a message!

EMDR Therapy

Open Door Therapist
Counselling & Psychotherapy

Move from a place of difficulty to a place of healing, hope, and ease.