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Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a type psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.  Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference, making it a type of evidence-based therapy. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. 


EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.  When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound.  If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes.  The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health.  If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes. 


Kelly Smyth-Dent uses the detailed, standard protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, along with the following, which help clients activate their natural healing processes (ASSYST procedure for acute stress stabilization, EMDR Protocol for Recent Critical Incidents (EMDR-PRECI) and the EMDR Integrative Group Treatment Protocol for Ongoing Traumatic Stress (EMDR-IGTP-OTS). The preceding information was taken directly from the EMDR International Association. To learn more about EMDR, visit:

Distressing or unresolved memories may surface through the use of the EMDR procedure. Some clients have experienced reactions during the treatment session that neither they nor the administering clinician may have anticipated, including a high level of emotion or physical sensations. Subsequent to the treatment session, the processing of incidents/material may continue, and other dreams, memories, flashbacks, feelings, etc. may surface.

When agreeing to receive therapy or consultation with Kelly Smyth-Dent, you agree that you have been advised and understand that EMDR is a treatment approach that has been widely validated by research only with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), qualifying it as a type of evidence-based research. Research on other applications of EMDR is still in process. You also agree that you have been specifically advised on the following areas (PTSD and Dissociative Disorder) and know that I have been screened and evaluated as a viable candidate to receive EMDR therapy. You understand that you will be asked by Kelly Smyth-Dent to complete pre and posttests to measure and track my symptoms. You also consent that you are not pregnant before receiving EMDR therapy and will consult with a medical doctor if you are concerned about any adverse reactions that could occur during or after EMDR treatment.

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