Is a painful experience preventing you from enjoying life in the present? Have you experienced a traumatic event that you just can’t get past? Maybe you experienced childhood abuse, a tragic accident or loss, an abusive relationship, a serious illness, or other trauma? Experiences like these can cause you to feel stuck. You get triggered by people and events that cause you to relive the painful experiences from the past.
If this sounds like you, you might benefit from EMDR therapy.
I've heard of EMDR; but what is it?
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a form of therapy that helps people heal from trauma or other distressing life experiences. These distressing experiences, if left unresolved, get stuck in the part of your brain that is reactionary. That means that current triggers cause you to react in fight, flight, or freeze. Basically, your brain is in survival mode. EMDR helps process memories so that they are no longer held in the reactionary part of the brain. It helps memories feel less distressing and current situations no longer trigger the same negative responses.
This sounds complicated. What will happen during therapy?
Your first few sessions will involve taking a thorough history, assessing the best approach for using EMDR, and teaching helpful coping skills. During trauma processing, EMDR therapy activates the brain using eye movements, alternating sounds, or tapping. For example, your therapist might have you hold small buzzers that vibrate back and forth in your hands. We call this bilateral stimulation.
During an EMDR session, you and your counselor will determine the memory to be targeted and identify the feelings and negative belief that goes with it. As you think about the memory, the bilateral stimulation helps your brain to make connections that are healing and helpful. The distress disappears and the negative belief is replaced with a healthier point of view. After EMDR processing, most clients generally experience fewer triggers and notice significant improvement in their daily functioning and personal relationships.
How long will this take?
Most issues will take at least several sessions to resolve, however, complex trauma can take significantly a bit more time. Your counselor will be able to help you gauge this during your initial session.
What can EMDR help with?
EMDR was first used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There is significant research on the effectiveness in treating trauma. Veterans and first responders have found significant relief from trauma exposure with EMDR therapy. EMDR has also shown to be effective in treating issues like anxiety, phobias, depression, grief, chronic pain, and sleep disturbance.
In case you were wondering, EMDR therapists go through rigorous training and supervision to effectively use EMDR with their clients.
Okay...but can EMDR help ME?
Are you ready to resolve memories so they no longer trigger negative feelings and reactions? Are you ready to be free of the pain and distress caused by a traumatic experience? Are you ready to change the negative way you view yourself?
If the answer to any of these is "yes," then talk to us about whether EMDR therapy is right for you. Contact us today!