EMDR Therapy | Mental Health Monday


women talking in office. EMDR Therapy. Des Moines MomDes Moines Mom wants to create a safe space for ongoing conversations about mental health. 

Have you heard of EMDR Therapy? Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a form of therapy most commonly used to treat people with symptoms of PTSD. 

Learn more about EMDR Therapy from our conversation with mental health therapist Sheila Russel, LISW, CADC, with Front Line Therapy, LLC. She is certified in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), an EMDR consultant in training.

EMDR Therapy

What is EMDR Therapy? 

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy is a type of mental health therapy that works with both the brain and the body. It is most notably known for helping resolve trauma and PTSD. It can be extremely effective for all types of mental health conditions, both past and present.

EMDR therapy is different than talk therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy because it involves an 8 stage type of therapy. It starts with coping strategies and then it focuses on things that are troublesome or been traumatic and helping the brain resolve and heal those areas. It is helping a part of the brain heal that you can’t “talk out” with normal language. 

Who do you recommend it for?

This treatment can be extremely effective for both adults and children. Different approaches are used depending on the age range. 

In addition to treating trauma, it can also treat depression or stress. In kids it may be used to treat over the top outbursts of emotion or bedwetting. 

How does EMDR Therapy work? 

There are several ways therapists can do EMDR therapy. They might focus on eye movements with a light bar or sounds in headphones. Another example is a patient may hold a “tapper” in his hand or shoe that produces different vibrations. This allows for bilateral stimulation of the brain. 

Find EMDR therapists at EMDRIA.org

Watch more of my conversation with Sheila Russel about “Learning about EMDR Therapy.”

Connect with Sheila Russell

Sheila Russell is an independently licensed social worker (LISW) and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC). She is certified in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), an EMDR consultant in training, and a Yoga For First Responders (YFFR) ambassador. She specializes in working with first responders, military personnel, substance use and gambling disorders, domestic violence, and postpartum mood disorders.
Learn more about her services at FrontLineTherapyServices.com.
3737 Woodland Avenue Suite 620, West Des Moines


Thank you for making time to help normalize the conversation about mental health. In this ongoing monthly series, we will be talking about mental health for ourselves, for our kids, our spouses, and our families. 

See more of our conversations about Mental Health


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