What is EMDR Therapy?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma and other disorders.
EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from different treatment approaches.
EMDR vs. Talk Therapy?
Talk therapy has historically assisted in the healing of distressing life events. It has helped individuals rationally understand their present situation and gain skills to make changes in their life while slowly decreasing the emotional intensity felt.
When this approach is used with traumatic events, residual physical sensations that have been stored in the body are often left unaddressed.
Talk therapy works when the brain and body are in sync and information can flow freely between the two.
After a traumatic event, there is often a disconnect between rational thinking and body sensations making it difficult for people to hear words, reason, or make meaning of life events and experiences.
People often say, “I know my reactions do not make rational sense, but I don’t know why I can’t move passed this incapacitating feeling”!
When the deeper regions of the brain are in this state of distress, people are back in “trauma mode” throwing their brain and body into a type of time warp.
EMDR treatments must start with calming the deeper regions of the brain and will include methods to help soothe and calm the body.
Calming techniques that can be started at home include listening to soothing music, prayer, meditation, mindful breathing, yoga, and exercise.
The goal is to increase the flow of oxygen and blood back to the brain in order to calm the body and begin accessing the higher regions of the brain.
If this process is rushed, the person risks further traumatization while escalating their current symptoms.
The use of EMDR’s side-to-side eye movements, sounds, and/or taps while in a safe and secure environment, can help integrate the dysfunctional looping of emotions with the unprocessed thoughts stored in the brain.
During this integration process a person can ascribe new rational meaning to their past life experiences.
Disturbing memories can be released while spotlighting strengths and other positive experiences that can help a person live a happier, healthier, and more resilient life.
What does EMDR help?
EMDR had been originally established as helpful for PTSD, although it’s been proven useful for treatment in the following conditions:
- Sexual and/or Physical Abuse
- Complicated Grief
- Pain Disorders
- Stress Reduction
- Disturbing Memories
- Panic Attacks
- Performance Anxiety
- Dissociative Disorders
- Body Dysmorphic Disorders
- Personality Disorders
None of the above symptoms or experiences fit you?
Do you experience distressing emotions that appear to you, and perhaps to others, to be excessive given the current situation?
Do you tend to be highly reactive to certain triggers?
Is there one or more dysfunctional belief that you believe about yourself that on an intellectual level you know is not true?
If so, you may still be a good candidate for EMDR therapy.
Contact me today so we can schedule an appointment to see if EMDR might help you release what no longer serves you