Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
What is EMDR and how can it help you?
EMDR Can Help You With..
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
EMDR was designed to help people who suffer from anxiety-provoking memories of trauma find healing. It focuses on one specific event at a time to help the patient change the way they think about the memory. Those who suffer from PTSD will likely experience great results from EMDR.
Any traumatic event that now causes unpleasant memories can be minimized by EMDR therapy. As shown in multiple studies, EMDR is highly effective for those who have distressing and anxiety-provoking memories. It can guide the person who has faced trauma towards the path of healing and emotional well-being.
Despite being designed to benefit those who have suffered from trauma, EMDR can be very effective for people who experience panic attacks. This form of therapy can help patients heal and get over the triggers of their panic attacks, leading to a much higher quality of life.
Many people feel that blocking out disturbing memories can help them get over the pain and emotional distress they are feeling. EMDR takes the opposite approach and helps patients learn methods to reduce stress and anxiety when reminded of disturbing memories. They will also practice highly effective eye movements to help them reprocess the distressing memories.
Sometimes, just thinking about an event can provoke severe levels of anxiety. By focusing on the distressing event in the presence of a licensed therapist, EMDR can help reduce performance anxiety. With specific eye movements performed by the patient, they can help their brain heal itself from whatever is provoking the anxiety.
Sexual or Physical Abuse
Sexual and physical abuse can leave a victim with horrible memories and even PTSD. The trauma experienced by these forms of abuse can luckily be treated by EMDR. In multiple studies, those who suffered from anxiety provoking memories found effective and fast healing from this form of therapy.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy in which patients can heal from distressing memories and disturbing life experiences in a short period of time. Mental and emotional wounds are similar to physical wounds, as you must remove any foreign objects in order to heal. Those who suffer from trauma must “remove” the pain that is hindering the healing process. EMDR helps patients to heal at a much faster rate than they usually would in individual therapy, which is why many people prefer it.
This form of therapy was first discovered by Dr. Francine Shapiro in 1987. While experiencing her own distressing memories when visiting a park, she began making eye movement while she was looking at the trees around her. She noticed she began to feel less distressed and emotional after making these eye movements. Later, she tested her theory on other people to see if they had a similar response to her, which they did. After adding some other components, EMDR was developed.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is based off of the belief that your brain wants and tries to heal itself, but it must be under the right conditions. If there are any wounds that serve as blockades, the brain has a very difficult time healing. With EMDR, patients learn methods to help allow their brain to heal naturally. In one study, patients with PTSD went through three 90-minute sessions of EMDR and experienced a 68% decrease in PTSD symptoms. This group had an 84% reduction in PTSD diagnoses as well. Their rate of healing was very rapid, showing just how effective EMDR is.
Patients with PTSD are not the only ones who can benefit from EMDR. While it was developed around patients who have experienced trauma, it is also beneficial for many other individuals. Patients with OCD, panic disorder, phobias, complicated grief, and many more can experience the positive effects of EMDR. Additionally, patients who are having difficulty managing high levels of stress can also benefit from EMDR sessions.
People who undergo EMDR treatment will go through different phases with their therapist. The therapist will first determine which distressing memory to target first, based on their conversations with their patient. Then, the therapist will teach their client different tools for stress reduction that can be used during and in between sessions. After this, the therapist will ask the patient to think about the disturbing memory while following the therapist’s finger with their eyes. It is believed this helps to remove the “foreign object” that is keeping the mental wound from healing.
The healing effects of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing are backed by evidence from many different studies. It can be very effective for people who can pinpoint the source of their emotional distress or trauma. Generally, individual counseling sessions can take anywhere from a few months to years for the meaning of a distressing event to be transformed. With EMDR, studies show it can take as little as three sessions.
Getting Started with EMDR is Easy
Initial Phone Consultation
We'll hop on the phone and get a quick 20 minute overview of any issues you're facing.
We'll set up an initial appointment.
We'll set up a call and a treatment plan.
Frequently Asked Questions about EMDR
What does EMDR therapy include?
Much of EMDR therapy consists of identifying the situation that is causing extreme stress or anxiety. A patient will also identify their negative beliefs about themselves and transform these beliefs into positives ones.
Is EMDR effective for all age groups?
Yes, EMDR can be beneficial for children, adolescents, adults, and seniors who have experienced any type of trauma or distressing situation. For children, EMDR can be a great option for therapy, as the child does not have to struggle with vocalizing an incident and they just visualize it.
How does the patient work through the negative memories that come up?
One of the first steps of EMDR therapy is learning to cope with unpleasant memories during the session and in between sessions. The therapist who is conducting the EMDR therapy will teach their patient different methods and techniques that help the patient get through their negative memories.
How long does EMDR therapy take?
EMDR is effective for all forms of trauma, no matter the severity, but some patients may take longer than others to feel healed. Some patients may experience the positive results of EMDR after just three sessions, while others may require several sessions.
Our Other Counseling Services
Counseling for romantic partners who would like to better manage conflict and improve their relationship. Couples can expect to work on communication skills, conflict resolution methods, and understand their partner better.
Individual Counseling and Psychotherapy
Counseling for individuals are confidential and private sessions for those who want to benefit their emotional and mental health. In individual counseling and psychotherapy, you will be given tools and techniques to help you heal from the past and improve your quality of life.
Counseling for Life Transitions
Life transitions can create emotional stress and can be very difficult to navigate. During a counseling session for life transitions, we will help you embrace the changes happening in your life.
Therapy for those who suffer from trauma or other distressing memories to help aid and increase the speed of the healing process. EMDR helps remove the “wound” that is blocking you from healing mentally and emotionally.
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