EMDR Trauma Therapy in Los Angeles

Transform Your Life: Discover Peace and Healing with EMDR Therapy

If you feel you need it, please reach out for help. I would be honored to help on your journey.

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Toby Barron Therapy

Hi! I'm Toby

I’m a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW #89672) based in Los Angeles, California. I’ve been lucky enough to work in the fields of mental health and sex and gender for over ten years and I am still grateful and excited to be here.

I Offer Both Online and In-Person Sessions in Los Angeles and Burbank.

My Locations

Los Angeles

2502 Hyperion Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(424) 835-0516
Click for Directions

Burbank

3808 W Riverside DR.
Burbank, CA 91505
(213) 986-6194
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Have Questions? I offer a Free 15-Minute Consultation.

What is EMDR trauma therapy?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy. It is known to be a highly effective treatment for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), trauma, anxiety, and panic. EMDR has been thoroughly researched and clinically validated by numerous controlled studies. It is proven to be very effective for patients suffering from various types of trauma and the resulting negative emotions.

EMDR trauma therapy has eight phases of treatment: history and treatment planning, client preparation, assessment, desensitization, installation, body scan, closure, and reevaluation. During the process, your brain will access the traumatic information that has been wreaking havoc, and start the healing process. Dual stimulation is a primary tool used in this model and it allows you to digest unprocessed traumatic memories and decrease their emotional charge. Ultimately, the traumatic memories are then associated with positive emotions instead.

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How do I know I need EMDR therapy?

Unfortunately, many of us exhibit symptoms of trauma without being aware of the event behind them. Trauma can take many shapes and sizes, and not all negative experiences are perceived as harmful. However, some symptoms may indicate the presence of traumatic events in your past. You may benefit from EMDR therapy if you have:

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What to expect from an EMDR trauma therapy session?​

I will guide you through traumatic and triggering experiences in a safe, contained space, while directing you through various desensitizing exercises. Recalling traumatic memories while having your attention diverted facilitates access to the disturbing experience and makes it less emotionally upsetting to relive it. You will reconnect with the images, thoughts, negative emotions, and body sensations associated with the traumatic experience while being in a safe environment and under my constant guidance. A session lasts about an hour. You may need one or several sessions depending on the type of trauma you experienced.
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Find the courage to heal and move on.

EMDR is not your usual “talk” therapy. I always say that EMDR is about mindfulness and the courage to go deep into your past to extract whatever blocks your brain from healing. This form of therapy allows you to silence the diversion your brain is trying to create around traumatic events and get to the core of your trauma.

Furthermore, EMDR unveils not only the disruptive, unprocessed memory, but also the belief you associated with the memory. If you are struggling with negative beliefs, you will learn to evolve them into healthier ones and move on. Because that’s what EMDR is about! It is a tool to help you move past what is holding you back and look to the future with hope and confidence.

Start Your Journey to Wellness Today. Schedule Your Free Consultation

Remember that you’re not damaged and you’re not broken. From time to time, whether we seek it or not, all of us need a little help. Sometimes it can be a little difficult, maybe a little scary to admit, but getting help is the fastest path to feeling better. Don’t hesitate to reach out today.

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01.

Initial Consultation

We’ll have a brief call to get to know each other. We’ll discuss your needs and how I can help.

02.

In-Person or Telehealth

Our sessions will be held virtually for your convenience. No long commutes to come see me.

03.

Time to Do the Work

Recovery can be a long and difficult road, but it’s worth it. We’ll work through it together

Get Started Today

Trauma is a fact of life. It does not, however, have to be a life sentence.
Peter A. Levine

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy has been extensively researched and found to be an effective treatment for trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Numerous studies have demonstrated its efficacy in helping individuals process and heal from traumatic experiences. EMDR therapy is recognized by leading health organizations, including the American Psychological Association (APA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), as an effective treatment for trauma.

While individual experiences with EMDR therapy can vary, many people report significant reductions in symptoms of trauma and PTSD, including fewer intrusive memories, less anxiety, and improved mood. It’s important to consult with a trained and certified EMDR therapist to determine if EMDR therapy is the right approach for your specific needs.

During an EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) session, you can expect a structured process that focuses on addressing traumatic memories and reducing their emotional impact. Here’s what typically happens:

  • Review and Set the Focus: The session often starts with a review of your progress and any new issues that have arisen. The therapist will then determine the focus of the session, which could be a specific traumatic memory or a current concern that’s linked to past trauma.
  • Target Memory Activation: You’ll be asked to bring to mind the specific memory or issue, including the associated images, thoughts, emotions, and body sensations. This activation is essential for the reprocessing phase. Of course, coping skills established in earlier sessions are used to keep this process tolerable. The pain and difficulty of bringing up these images or memories decreases over time. 
  • Bilateral Stimulation: The core of the session involves bilateral stimulation, which can be eye movements, auditory tones, or taps. You’ll be guided to follow the therapist’s hand movements with your eyes, or alternatively, listen to tones or feel taps in a rhythmic left-right pattern. This stimulation facilitates the brain’s natural healing process.
  • Processing: As you focus on the memory and experience the bilateral stimulation, you’ll be encouraged to let your mind go wherever it needs to. This might lead to shifts in emotions, thoughts, or physical sensations as the memory is being processed. The therapist may check in with you to guide this process and ensure you’re coping with the emotions and sensations that arise.
  • Installing Positives: After sufficiently processing the memory, the therapist will help you focus on a positive belief about yourself to replace the negative belief associated with the traumatic memory. The goal is to strengthen this positive belief through continued bilateral stimulation.
  • Closure: Each session ends with a closure phase to ensure you leave feeling better than when you arrived. This might involve calming exercises or discussions about what was processed during the session.
  • Debriefing: The session concludes with a debriefing, where you’ll discuss any insights gained, how you feel about the process, and plan for managing any residual emotions or thoughts.

EMDR therapy is a powerful tool for treating trauma and PTSD, but there are certain conditions and situations where it might not be recommended, or additional precautions are necessary:

  • Severe Mental Health Disorders: Individuals with severe mental health disorders, such as psychosis or severe dissociative disorders, may need to be stabilized before beginning EMDR therapy. The intense emotional processing required by EMDR can sometimes exacerbate these conditions.
  • Substance Abuse: If someone is actively abusing substances and has not achieved a stable period of sobriety, EMDR may need to be delayed. Substance abuse can complicate the therapy process and affect the ability to process traumatic memories safely.
  • Unstable Living Situations: Individuals facing highly unstable or unsafe living conditions might need to address these external stressors first. The additional emotional stress from EMDR therapy might not be manageable without a stable support system or environment.
  • Certain Medical Conditions: People with certain medical conditions, especially those affecting the brain or nervous system, should consult with their healthcare provider before starting EMDR. The therapy might negatively impact conditions such as epilepsy, severe migraines, or recent brain injuries.
  • Recent Trauma: In cases of very recent trauma, it might be beneficial to wait until the individual has had time to stabilize emotionally before beginning EMDR therapy. Immediate crisis intervention or other forms of support may be more appropriate initially.
  • Reluctance to Engage in the Process: Successful EMDR therapy requires the individual to be actively engaged and willing to confront and work through difficult memories. If someone is not ready to face their trauma, or if they are skeptical of the process, it may not be the right time for EMDR.

If you have concerns as to whether you may undergo EMDR therapy, don’t hesitate to contact me. Every individual and their circumstances are different, let’s talk about it and see what the best path forward is. It may be possible to make modifications to the standard EMDR protocol or apply an integrated approach with other therapies that might be more suitable to address specific concerns or conditions.

EMDR therapy is most widely recognized for its effectiveness in treating PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and trauma-related issues. However, research and clinical experience have shown that EMDR can be beneficial for a wide range of psychological conditions and problems, including:

  • Anxiety Disorders – Panic attacks, phobias, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), processing experiences that produce anxiety, etc.
  • Depression linked to past traumatic or distressing events
  • Eating Disorders – Particularly those tied to traumatic experiences or negative self-beliefs
  • Addiction and Substance Abuse
  • Grief and Loss
  • Dissociative Disorders especially when they are trauma-related
  • Chronic Pain
  • Attachment Disorders
  • Managing Stress and Coping

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy is generally considered safe and effective for treating trauma and other psychological issues. However, like any therapeutic intervention, it can have potential risks or adverse effects, especially if not conducted properly or if the individual is not adequately prepared for the emotional processing involved.

During your consultation, we’ll discuss whether this is the right treatment option for you.