What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR) is a set of standardized protocols that incorporate elements from many different treatment approaches. It has been researched extensively and proven effective for the treatment of trauma.
What Issues Can EMDR Treat?
EMDR is used to treat a variety of mental health concerns including:
- – Panic attacks
- – Complicated grief
- – Dissociative disorders
- – Disturbing memories
- – Phobias
- – Pain disorders
- – Performance anxiety
- – Stress reduction
- – Addictions
- – Sexual and/or Physical abuse
- – Body dysmorphic disorders
- – Personality Disorders
How Exactly Does EMDR Work?
EMDR has a direct effect on the way the brain processes information. It activates your system’s natural process of bringing your mental health back to its optimal level of functioning.
This is very beneficial if you’ve experienced an event that has carved out unwanted thoughts in your mind and disturbing emotions in your heart that leads to your brain being unable to process information as it normally does.
In a situation like this, a moment in time becomes “stuck” in your mind, and you relive the traumatic experience, the sounds, smells and images over and over again.
This, in turn, effects how you see the world around you and relate to other people. You’re relationships are filled with conflict, you have very little trust in others or yourself, you’d rather not deal with people in social situations, and it’s hard to get along with people at work or school.
After a successful EMDR session, your brain can once again process information as it was designed to do, and you no longer relive your traumatic experience in a negative way.
While you still remember that the event happened, you are not physically, mentally or emotionally upset by it because of the adaptive processing that occurs from EMDR Therapy.
It appears that EMDR activates the brain in a very similar to what occurs naturally during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.
For this reason, EMDR can be considered a physiologically based therapy that helps you deal with distressing events in a new and less disturbing way.
What are EMDR Sessions Like?
EMDR is an integrative psychotherapy approach that incorporates eight phases of treatment.
How long it takes you to experience the benefits of this therapy depends on your personal history.
EMDR Therapy targets three different areas:
- past memories
- present disturbance, and
- future actions.
The goal of EMDR is to process information and experiences in a way that is more helpful and ultimately creates inner peace.
Each session aims to leave you with:
- healthy emotions
- understanding, and
- fresh perspectives that will ultimately lead to healthy and useful future behaviors and interactions.
How Long Does it Take EMDR to Work?
Your Therapist will need to conduct a thorough assessment over at least two to three 60 minute sessions to determine if EMDR is right for you.
During these sessions, your therapist will answer any questions you may have about EMDR. Once you and your therapist agree EMDR is the right way to go, the treatment process of therapy may begin.
Sessions typically last between 60 and 90 minutes (90 minute sessions are recommended).
The number of sessions you’ll need will be based on the type of problem, personal circumstances and the degree of the trauma.
EMDR may be used within a standard “talking” therapy, as an adjunctive therapy with a separate therapist, or as a treatment all by itself.
If you or a loved one is interested in exploring EMDR Therapy, please contact me by phone, email, or text. I am happy to speak with you further about how EMDR Therapy can help.