262 Commercial Street, North Sydney, NS B2A 1B8

Is a past traumatic event or current situation keeping you from living fully?

EMDR Therapy can help you move forward.

When your past is getting in the way of living in the present,

EMDR Therapy can help you move forward.




When you feel stuck and you can't
see a way forward.

Experiencing a traumatic or distressing event can cause your brain’s natural healing process to become overwhelmed. When that experience cannot be properly processed, it may result in a ‘stuck’ point in your mind. EMDR Therapy can help you resolve the flashbacks, anxiety, fear, and isolation from your experience and the restores your sense of self.

EMDR Therapy can help you resolve the flashbacks, anxiety, fear, and isolation from your experience and the restores your sense of self.

Crystal Crescent Beach in Nova Scotia.

Does your experience leave you with:

  • Distressing memories from a traumatic event?
  • Physical symptoms stemming from a traumatic event?
  • Overwhelming anxiety associated with memories?
  • An inability to function well during daily tasks?
  • Having a hard time focusing?
  • Creating a meaningful connection in relationships?

EMDR Therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from a wide range of challenges.

Who benefits from EMDR treatment?

EMDR is used to help individuals of all ages who have experienced one or more traumatic events that is contributing to persistent distress. This includes first responders, war veterans, survivors of physical or sexual assault, healthcare workers, individuals who have experienced neglect or childhood abuse, those burnout from the pandemic and more. EMDR therapy has also been found to be effective for chronic pain or illness which affects daily living. If you’re wondering whether EMDR therapy may be right for you, request an appointment. Our Client Care Coordinator will be in touch to discuss your needs.

Why Choose East Coast Psychotherapy & Trauma Clinic

We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all therapy.

Who you are and the struggles you’ve faced are as unique as the DNA you carry. We strive to create a safe space where people can explore difficult issues and experience transformational change. We believe in diversity, social justice and we stand in support of racial, gender, and cultural equality. 

We believe that everyone should have access to helpful, high-quality, up-to-date therapy.

East Coast Psychotherapy & Trauma Clinic provides in-person therapy in North Sydney, Industrial Cape Breton, and virtual therapy across Nova Scotia.

Beth Toomey, Registered Clinical Social Worker, East Coast Psychotherapy & Trauma Clinic, North Sydney

Beth Toomey MSW, RSW
Clinical Director & Founder

Beth Toomey, Registered Clinical Social Worker, East Coast Psychotherapy & Trauma Clinic, North Sydney

Beth Toomey MSW, RSW
Clinical Director & Founder

Cabot trail with the sun shining

East Coast Psychotherapy & Trauma Clinic

How Our EMDR Therapy Works

Step 1

You will receive one-to-one access with an EMDR-trained, licensed mental health clinician who will work with you to establish your goals an create an environment that makes healing possible

Step 2

Throughout treatment, your therapist will lead you through a guided EMDR process, finishing each session with relaxation techniques and a brief discussion about your progress and feelings.

Step 3

EMDR therapy can take less time than other psychotherapies, and the number of sessions you attend will be determined by your therapist. Each session lasting 60-90 minutes and can be done in person or virtually.

*EMDR Sessions are $175 each. Receipts are provided for clients who wish to request reimbursement from their insurance company. Therapy sessions may be claimed as a medical expense on annual income tax where eligible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Although EMDR therapy uses concepts from other therapeutic models, it is different from traditional talk therapy in some notable ways. EMDR is a transformational and metabolic process designed to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories in the brain.

It uses bilateral stimulation (typically eye movements) that reduce the vividness and emotion associated with traumatic memories and creates new neural pathways in the brain.

EMDR is based on the adaptive information processing (AIP) model, which assumes that trauma is stored and stuck in the neural network of the brain. AIP theory assumes that trauma symptoms are manifestations of stuck or un-integrated memories. Reprocessing of these traumatic memories reduces the associated anxiety and promotes development of new associations with the memories and increases adaptive behaviour.

Because EMDR doesn’t focus on narrative recall like so many traditional talk therapies, people don’t have to talk in great detail about their past traumatic experiences.
They work with their therapist to develop a treatment plan that targets the experiences or events that have contributed to the problem that has brought them to therapy.

There is no requirement to complete homework assignments in between sessions as with some other therapeutic approaches like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and exposure therapies. This is because the work of trauma resolution happens in a supportive environment with the therapist present.

For many clients, EMDR therapy can be completed in fewer sessions than other psychotherapies.


“EMDR therapy is extensively researched and widely recognized as effective trauma therapy. EMDR therapy is recognized as evidenced-based treatment for PTSD and other trauma and stressor disorders in treatment guidelines published by the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, the World Health Organization, and a growing number of national and international organizations. Treatment guidelines are based on reviews that evaluate the research of established evidence-based mental health treatments.”


Therapy is an intensely personal process and because every person has their own unique set of experiences and circumstances the length of time it takes to complete therapy varies from person to person. Typically, EMDR therapy sessions last from 60-90 minutes.

It could take one or several sessions to process one traumatic experience. You and your therapist will develop a unique treatment plan just for you. It’s not uncommon for people to have several memories that require reprocessing.

The EMDR International Association explains it this way:

“The goal of EMDR therapy is to process completely the traumatic experiences that are causing problems and to include new ones that are needed for full health. The amount of time it will take to complete EMDR treatment for traumatic experiences will depend upon the history of the client. Complete treatment of a single EMDR trauma target involves a three-pronged protocol to alleviate the symptoms and address the complete clinical picture. The three prongs include:

  • past memories
  • present disturbance
  • future actions

Although EMDR therapy may produce results more rapidly than other forms of therapy, speed is not the goal of therapy and it is important to remember that every client has different needs.”

Research conducted on the effectiveness of delivering EMDR virtually suggests that good clinical outcomes are being achieved. Much of this research evolved from the switch to online therapy that was necessitated during the global COVID-19 pandemic. The literature conveys that EMDR delivered in an online format can be an effective treatment for children, youth and adults experiencing mental health issues. Check out this 2-Minute Medicine article ‘Online Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy may improve mental health’

Additional research about the delivery of virtual EMDR:

Bates, A., Rushbrook, S., Shapiro, E., Grocott, M., & Cusack, R. (2020). CovEMERALD: Assessing the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of remotely delivered eye movement desensitization and reprocessing following Covid-19 related critical illness: A structured summary of a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. BioMedCentral, 21: 929. Open Access: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-020-04805-1

Bongaerts, H. Voorendonk, E. M., van Minnen, A., & de Jongh, A. (2021). Safety and effectiveness of intensive treatment for complex PTSD delivered via home-based telehealth. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 12(1), 1860346. Open access: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/20008198.2020.1860346

Fisher, N. (2021). Using EMDR therapy to treat clients remotely. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 15(1), 73-84. http://dx.doi.org/10.1891EMDR-D-20-00041

Lenferink, L. I. M., Meyerbroker, K., & Boelen, P. A. (2020). PTSD treatment in times of COVID-19: A systematic review of the effects of online EMDR. Psychiatry Research, 293:113438. Open access: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113438

McGowan, I. W., Fisher, N., Havens, J., & Proudlock, S. (2021). An evaluation of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy delivered remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic. BMC Psychiatry, 21, 560. Open access: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-021-03571-x

Spence, J., Titov, N., Johnson, L., Dear, B. F., Wootton, B., Terides, M., & Zou, J. (2013). Internet-delivered eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (iEMDR): An open trial [version 2; peer review: 2 approved]. F1000 Research, 2:79. Open access: https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.2-79.v2

Tarquinio, C., Brennstuhl, M., Rydberg, J. A., Bassan, F., Peter, L., Tarquinio, C. L., Auxemery, Y., Rotonda, C., & Tarquinio, P. (2020). EMDR in telemental health counseling for healthcare workers caring for COVID-19 patients: A pilot study. Issues in Mental Health Nursing published online. Open access: https://doi.org/10.1080/01612840.2020.1818014

Winkler, O., Dhaliwal, R., Greenwhaw, A., O’Shea, K., Abba-Aji, A., Chima, C., Purdon, S. E., & Burback, L. (2021). Web-based eye movement desensitization and reprocessing for adults with suicidal ideation: Protocol for a randomized controlled trial. JMIR Research Protocols, 10(11): e30711. Open access: https://doi.org/10.2196/30711

EMDR therapy can support complex trauma survivors to achieve improved mental health outcomes, but it is not a quick fix. It should not be used as a stand alone technique or method to reprocess traumatic memories when working with someone with complex PTSD or dissociative disorders. Rather, EMDR should be incorporated into a structured and integrative treatment approach, which will include emdr reprocessing. You will want to seek out an experienced EMDR practitioner who has sought out advanced clinical training in working with Complex PTSD.
Absolutely! EMDR’s treatment effects are not just achievable through the exclusive use of eye movements. We can also use various bilateral dual attention stimuli such as alternating tactile stimuli like tapping or through the use of auditory stimuli using a headset that plays alternating sounds.

What you can expect
from EMDR Therapy

  • Reduce vividness and emotion associated with past distressing emotions
  • Relief of your symptoms
  • Greater confidence in yourself
  • A feeling of security in your relationship with others
  • The ability to regulate your emotions, which will result in more authentic experiences
  • Greater resiliency
  • A stronger ability to navigate your needs
  • Generate a new narrative about yourself and others

Transform how you are living with EMDR Therapy.

How To Get Started

If you’re ready to get started with therapy, you can book a free phone consultation with our Client Services Coordinator below. During the consultation, we will answer any questions you have and match you with the therapist best suited for your unique situation.
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Therapists who specialize in EMDR

Stop letting your past get in the way of living in the present.

Beth Toomey Therapy & Consulting Services

We can help you move forward.