WHAT IS EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITIZATION & REPROCESSING?
EMDR is an advanced therapy technique designed to heal the symptoms of trauma, PTSD, and other emotional conditions. EMDR has been backed by the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs. Extensive research has shown clients undergoing treatment utilizing EMDR protocols are able to enjoy the longevity of decreased symptoms that were once interpreted as chronic that no other form of talk therapy can offer, leading to remarkable clinical success.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using emdr therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes. -EMDR Institute, Inc., 2018
WHAT TO EXPECT?
EMDR is typically broken down into a few phases:
Phase 1 – History gathering sessions
Phase 2 – Assessment of stress tolerance and preparing for desensitization and reprocessing
Phases 3 through 6 – Targeting a traumatic event, then desensitizing and reprocessing said memory
Phases 7 & 8 – Evaluation and closure when the targeted memory has been completely reprocessed.
Expect a specially trained therapist to walk you through each phase of EMDR.
While EMDR is a step-wise process, time spent in each phase varies based on the specific needs of the client.
Expect to learn more about negative cognitions of self and replace them with healthier constructs.
WHO COULD BENEFIT?
While EMDR is best known for treating PTSD and trauma, it can also be adapted to successfully treat the following concerns:
- OCD and Related Disorders
- Attachment Issues
- Chronic Pain
The use of EMDR is not recommended for individuals living with epilepsy due to the use of BiLateral Stimulation (BLS) and mechanisms in the brain that are stimulated in the desensitization phase of EMDR.