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New child-focused therapy available in Thunder Bay

An advancing trauma therapy for kids and adults alike is available at a clinic in Thunder Bay.
EDMR Wellness Centre is located on 383 Mooney Ave in Thunder Bay

THUNDER BAY — A local wellness centre is expanding the breadth of its therapy treatment in Thunder Bay, offering clients more options without the need to seek help elsewhere. 

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy was first unveiled in the 1980s and is used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions. 

Carrie Nyitrai, one of the centre's founders, said the EMDR Wellness Centre, located at 383 Mooney Ave., specializes in this type of therapy for children. 

"[It] looks a lot different working with kids than adults, for sure. You're just taking a more expressive arts and playful tone to the therapy, but really helping kids process the negative stuff that has happened that gets usually stuck in their brains," explained Nyitrai. 

"They're thinking something negative about themselves, and we're looking at how we can help them flush it out. It's done with a bilateral, either tapping motion with kids, we can use brushes or I also have a bilateral tap machine as well to help people do the processing.

"And it's really about reconnecting their memory networks."

She detailed that the training is more about releasing negative thoughts. 

"For example, you witness a car accident, and you go to bed at night, and you just keep picturing this car accident, and you can't get it out of your mind. EMDR helps release the negative thought.

"It helps release not the memory from it, but the images and the negative thoughts about yourself."

Nyitrai explained that she had been a social worker for over 20 years and wanted to expand on her own EMDR training, which led to the opening of the centre with co-founder Rochelle Lee. 

Lee said EMDR therapy has historically helped emergency workers. 

"We know that typically or historically, EMDR therapy was really primarily for first responders. If we think about our police services, our firefighters, paramedics, we see a lot of trauma, and it's very important that they have access to resources that actually are evidence-based and work," Lee said. 

At EMDR Wellness Centre, two trained EMDR specialists work specifically with children. All five therapists offer various forms of therapy for clients with different needs, Lee said.

"We offer other mainstream therapies in terms of cognitive behavioural therapy and motivational interviewing," Lee said. "I myself do mindset coaching as well."

Katie Nicholls, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Katie Nicholls, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Originally from central Ontario, Katie moved here to further her career in the media industry.
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