Online Therapy Available
Located in Duluth, GA

What is EMDR and How Does it Heal Past Trauma?

To begin with, EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. While that might sound complicated, this type of therapy is actually pretty straightforward. That’s one reason it has increased in popularity over the years. 

As far as treatment for trauma goes, EMDR is relatively new. It was developed in the late 1980s, so it has not been around as long as some other treatment options. However, because of its effectiveness, it is currently one of the most widely used treatments for trauma

If you, or someone you know, have experienced one or multiple traumas and you’re trying to find the best treatment option, you might want to consider EMDR. Not sure if it’s right for you? Let’s dive a little deeper into what it is and what you can expect from the sessions. 

How Does EMDR Work? 

EMDR was specifically created to help individuals deal with the effects of past trauma. Whether you went through one traumatic event or you’re trying to deal with the effects of years of chronic trauma, the impact and resulting symptoms of trauma related disorders can be debilitating—unless you get treatment. 

Talk therapy is a common treatment option for trauma survivors. But EMDR goes one step further. 

EMDR is a treatment that is done in eight phases. Each phase focuses on helping you process the trauma in a safe and controlled environment. During one of the phases, you will move your eyes back and forth while thinking of a traumatic memory (that’s where the name EMDR comes from).

The main premise behind EMDR is that traumatic memories are stored differently in your brain than memories of normal, non-traumatic events. By processing the memories during EMDR, you are allowing your brain to sort through them and place them into long term memory where they belong. This allows the traumatic memories to become less powerful and emotionally charged.

What Are the Phases?

One reason people enjoy the benefits of EMDR so much is the fact that is a more straightforward and streamlined treatment. That doesn’t mean there is a “one size fits all” for everyone dealing with trauma. But, the eight phases of EMDR are done with a focused approach which allows you to work through the root of the trauma and helps you to receive relief from the effects of it. The eight phases are: 

  1. History and treatment planning
  2. Preparation
  3. Assessment
  4. Desensitization
  5. Installation
  6. Body scan
  7. Closure
  8. Reevaluation

As you can see, it isn’t a rushed or hurried process. Even the reevaluation phase is designed to determine the effectiveness of the treatment as time goes on. EMDR patients tend to feel relief pretty soon after beginning treatment, although this will depend on how extensive their trauma history is. But going through all eight phases and determining if they worked properly is a key component of the treatment process. 

Is EMDR Right for You?

It’s important to understand that EMDR isn’t just a “quick fix.” It works for most patients who are open to the ideas behind the process. Not only can it help to treat the effects of PTSD, but it is also used for conditions like anxiety, depression, and addictions. You can read more about EMDR at

So, is it the right treatment option for you? If you believe you have been through negative experiences that continue to impact your life currently, and you are open to going through the process, it definitely could be worth exploring as a treatment option.

If you’re interested in learning more about EMDR, what it is, and how it can help you, feel free to contact me, Dr. Ginny Kington, for more information or to set up a free consultation.

5 Dating Tips for Those With a History of Trauma

No matter what type of trauma you’ve been through, it’s unlikely that you’ll recover from it overnight. Some people struggle with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for years.

Dating with a history of trauma is always difficult. If your trauma is the result of destructive or abusive relationships, dating might feel especially overwhelming. Even if you want to “get out there” and meet someone new, your past trauma can make it difficult.

How can you start dating again in a healthy way if you have a history of trauma? What can you do to make it easier on yourself?

1. Understand Your Triggers

Most people with a history of trauma have specific triggers that can cause anything from fear to wanting to self-isolate. When you understand what those triggers are, you can take extra steps to avoid them — especially when you’re out on a date.

Unfortunately, you won’t always have control of your triggers. For some people, something as straightforward as a particular sight, sound, or smell can lead back to a memory of abuse. One approach is to do what you can to steer clear of them whenever possible. Another is to engage in trauma therapy to learn how to cope effectively when you encounter a trigger.

2. Don’t Share Everything Immediately

You might feel as though a weight would be lifted from your shoulders if you told your date everything about your traumatic history right away. But that’s a pretty intense conversation to have over coffee!

In all honestly, you’re more likely to scare someone away by opening with a traumatic story. While you should tell your date eventually, try to avoid talking about your trauma on the first date unless it comes up naturally. Remember, it doesn’t define who you are, so you don’t have to share that part of yourself with your date just yet.

3. Take Things Slowly

No matter how interested you are in a person, it’s essential to take things slowly. Even if everything is going well, don’t rush. Trust your gut and your intuition. You don’t necessarily have to have your guard up, but do what you can to protect yourself from heartbreak.

By taking things slowly and not relying on initial feelings of attraction, you will understand where the relationship might be going and feel more in control and comfortable.

4. Be Patient

When you do eventually start to talk about your trauma, practice patience. The person you’re dating will undoubtedly have questions. Some of those questions might be offensive or even trigger negative memories. In most cases, people don’t ask questions to be purposefully invasive, but they may not know what to ask or how to ask it.

So, be patient. Explain what you are comfortable talking about and what you’re not, and answer things with understanding rather than resentment.

5. Don’t Blame Yourself

Going through a traumatic experience is never, ever your fault. When you do start to talk about it, avoid blaming yourself. Don’t feel guilty for what you went through or “apologize” to the person you’re dating for what happened to you.

It’s essential to remember that you aren’t broken, and your trauma doesn’t define you. It may have strongly impacted your life, but it isn’t who you are. Letting your date know that it was a part of your life, but not your entire life, can make a big difference in how your relationship moves forward.

Please reach out to me if you’ve been dealing with the effects of trauma for a while. Maybe you’re concerned about dating. Perhaps you’ve gone on a few dates that didn’t turn out as you expected.

Remember, you don’t have to go through the aftermath of trauma alone. Together, we can work on more tips for getting back into the dating scene and enjoying the experience. I’m here to help.


2805 Peachtree Industrial Blvd.
Suite 115
Duluth, GA 30097

Appointments available to serve clients in Gwinnett county and in the areas of:

  Alpharetta,   Roswell,
  Johns Creek,   Norcross,
  Duluth,   Lilburn,
  Lawrenceville,   Suwanee,
  and Doraville.

Online therapy appointments available in the following states:

  Arizona,   Colorado,
  Delaware, Washington DC,
  Georgia,   Illinois,
  Missouri,   Nebraska,
  Nevada,   New Hampshire,
  North Carolina,   Oklahoma,
  Pennsylvania,   Texas,
  Utah,   and Virginia