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EMDR Intensives

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an evidence-based treatment for trauma that is based on strengthening our body and mind's natural inclination to heal. It can be used for an array of situations including complex trauma, systemic oppression, critical incidents, combat, operational stress injuries as more. Sam is an EMDRIA approved EMDR therapist with advanced training in treating recent traumatic events (both in groups as well as 1:1), first responders, veterans, dissociation and complex trauma. Read on to learn about what an EMDR intensive is, the why behind offering it and how powerful it can be as well as if this specialized service may be a good fit for your needs.

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You can think of the intensive model as binge watching your favorite show instead of waiting a week in between episodes. 

 In traditional weekly-biweekly therapy (standard session is 50 minutes) there often isn't much time to fully process a traumatic event after the initial check-in, and due to the start and stop nature it can take several sessions to 'clear' a memory (aka feeling calm when you think about it). While slow and steady feels best for some, for others they would prefer a highly focused, more intense approach to speed up processing and achieve progress faster. EMDR intensives are exactly that, an extended therapy session often lasting 3-4 hours (with breaks as needed) over the span of 1-3 days (or more). That may sound like an intimidating amount of time to be doing trauma therapy, however it may surprise you how fast the time goes and many people report feeling positively about going more in-depth and having more time for closure and reflection afterwards.

Folks are also appreciating the time and cost efficiency of the intensive format. Because one is essentially doing a month's worth of therapy (or maybe even more!) all in one day, it can make it easier for scheduling for busy professionals and parents. While there is an upfront cost, you may save money in the long run due to therapy not being prolonged by the start/stop of short weekly sessions.

The process for an EMDR Intensive is as follows: a free 15 min consult call to assess fit for intensives as well as get to know each other, a 90 minute assessment where we will confirm our goals for the intensive and focus, completion of an individualized workbook at home which Sam will review before the intensive, then the intensive (usually done over a weekend) then ending with a closure meeting (50 min). Clients are always welcome to return for more intensives if they so choose, and intensives can work beautifully in collaboration with your current providers (a summary report can be released to your current therapist, GP, or Psychiatrist with your consent).

Following Seas Psychotherapy is based in Dartmouth, NS which is convenient to Eastern Passage, Shearwater, Cole Harbour, Preston, Lake Echo, Halifax, Burnside, Bedford, Sackville, Waverley, Fall River and Lawrencetown. Depending on your unique situation, Sam may also be willing to travel to you. Intensives can also be conducted via Telehealth for anyone in Nova Scotia.

Who may benefit from an EMDR Intensive?

  • You've been in therapy for a while, and yet feel like you haven't been able to reach a break-through. EMDR intensives support clients in ongoing individual therapy who have gotten stuck to ‘get over the hump’ by utilizing an extremely focused and intentional approach to help them move forward in treatment which may result in continuing on or finishing individual therapy due to needs getting met.

  • You’ve been meaning to get into weekly therapy for a while now but due to your busy schedule, a weekly therapy session feels like another obligation instead of therapeutic.

  • You need help — and a lot of it — right now, and you don’t want to spend months in the traditional weekly therapy treatment model to feel better.

Below are some literature showing the benefits of short term, intensive EMDR therapy.

  • Trauma-focused, short term, EMDR therapy is shown to be helpful to people struggling with PTSD. According to recent studies, this form of intensive therapy helps to reduce day to day challenges that those suffering experience, all within a much faster time frame (and it works just as well, or even better than the more long term traditional method). To learn more about these studies click here or here.

  • One study looked at a successful five day EMDR intensive therapy Intensive for people diagnosed with PTSD. Learn more here.

  • This case study looks at Complex PTSD and if Intensive EMDR therapy can be a safe and a good alternative to more traditional, long term models of care. Learn more here.

  • Read this article here that looks at whether intensive trauma therapy can be better from both a mental health, and a financial standpoint. It turns out that the advantages of intensive therapy include it being more efficient for treatment wise and financially. This is because it reduces the risk of life crises disrupting ongoing treatment, people stopping seasons prematurely, and it gives overall much faster results.

The investment you are making in your healing

Initial 90 minute assessment and workbook review: $360, then $900-$1200/intensive day depending on the length of EMDR time (3-4 hours with a break in between is standard intensive format). Insurance reimbursements vary greatly depending on the individual’s plan and such the onus is on the client to verify coverage before booking should they desire to submit receipts for reimbursement.

Want to chat further to see if this is the right approach for you? Book your complimentary consult!

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