Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an effective form of psychotherapy that has been found to be very helpful in managing the challenges faced by individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). EMDR therapy helps speed up the way one’s brain processes information. It also helps relieve some symptoms of PTSD, such as negative beliefs about oneself, and reduces stress levels associated with trauma triggers.
What Is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR therapy is an effective therapy that will help individuals get to the root of and manage trauma. It’s been shown to be especially helpful for people who have experienced abuse or trauma, such as:
- Sexual assault
- Domestic violence
- Physical or emotional abuse by a family member or loved one
- Car accidents
- Violent crimes
Francine Shapiro developed the EMDR technique in 1987 after she observed how her clients with PTSD became calmer when their eyes moved back and forth across a therapist’s office wall.
The basic premise is that your brain stores memories in two separate ways:
- Emotionally charged images like those from a traumatic event
- Facts about what happened, before or afterward
When re-experiencing painful emotions from past events, you may be able to think about them more objectively if these two forms of memory can come together as one narrative. For example: “I’m remembering how scared I was during the fire at my house.”
How It Works
EMDR stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy. It consists of eight phases that include the following components:
- Cognitive processing: This phase involves identifying and processing negative beliefs or thoughts that have been formed as a result of experiencing trauma. The client may also be asked to write about how these beliefs cause them to feel uncomfortable, anxious, or depressed.
- Body sensory integration: This phase involves tapping into the sensations associated with the trauma to replace them with other experiences such as relaxation or calmness. For example, clients may be asked to link their traumatic memories with pleasant ones in order to alter their negative feelings about themselves.
- Stimulation phase: In this stage, therapists use stimuli such as tones that are paired with each traumatic memory until it becomes neutralized through repetition over time.
The therapist will guide you through eye movements designed to help you process painful memories or feelings by focusing on the present. By doing so, EMDR therapy helps you understand and remember what happened during a traumatic event without feeling overwhelmed or emotionally dysregulated. This technique also involves recalling positive experiences that occurred before and after the trauma, which helps reaffirm that your life is still fulfilling and meaningful despite what happened during your traumatic experience.
IS EMDR Right for You?
Since trauma can be difficult for many people to talk about, EMDR therapy may be helpful for those who have difficulty opening up about their past experiences or who find themselves unable to confront certain memories of abuse head-on. In addition, EMDR therapy has been shown to reduce pain responses in clients experiencing chronic pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) with minimal adverse effects compared to antidepressants.
Helps With Focus
EMDR therapy is a treatment that uses eye movements to help you process painful memories. It’s the same idea behind eye exercises for vision problems: by focusing on one thing, like an object or a letter, your brain can zero in on what it’s supposed to be doing. In this case, EMDR therapy uses eye movements to help you process your trauma and move on with your life.
Manage Anxiety and Depression
If you’re struggling with anxiety or depression after surviving a trauma like experiencing sexual assault, EMDR therapy can help. This short-term approach helps clients break through barriers and heal from past events by working directly with the mind instead of just talking about them repeatedly without any progress toward healing.
Discover the Root of Trauma
When individuals are treated with EMDR therapy, they can get to the root of their trauma and learn how to manage it. This is helpful because when people are discharged from treatment, they will still be able to manage their symptoms on their own.
Getting Help Today
Here at Excel Treatment Center, we take the time to talk to you to learn about your struggles and learn the best way to treat you. We come up with a treatment plan that will help you be successful. You will work with a team of mental health professionals that will create a specific plan tailored to you. This may include EMDR therapy to help you in your recovery.
EMDR is an emerging therapy that can help you deal with trauma and the root of your trauma. At Excel Treatment Center, we understand that symptoms related to PTSD and other types of trauma can take a toll on your life. With the help of EMDR, we will work together to help you overcome your trauma. Our trained staff and professionals are here to guide you through this process so you can regain control of your life and live up to your greatest success. Remember, you don’t have to face these battles alone, and we can provide the help you need. If you or someone you love is struggling and have not considered EMDR therapy, please reach out so we can assist you in your journey. To find out more information about our programs, contact us today by calling (877) 331-4114.