EMDR is a form of psychotherapy that helps patients distress their traumatic memories. It came from a chance observation of Dr. Francine Shapiro, a psychologist, in 1987. Seeing that under certain conditions, eye movements can reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts, Dr. Shapiro further studied this discovery scientifically. Two years later, she reported the success of using EMDR to treat patients with trauma in the Journal of Traumatic Stress. Since then, this therapy has developed and evolved through the contributions of researchers and therapists worldwide. Today, EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from various treatment methods.
Though we cannot exactly pinpoint how psychotherapy works in the brain, we learned that the brain of an upset person couldn’t properly process information compared to how it does normally. When memory becomes “frozen in time,” and it becomes a trauma, remembering it would feel as awful as how it felt the first time. This is because the sounds, images, fragrances, and feelings that are associated with it will remain the same and have the same impact. Because moments like this have a lasting negative effect, they can interfere with the way a person views the world and relate to other people.
Even if the connection isn’t proven 100%, EMDR seems to directly affect the way the brain processes information. This is because, when a therapy session is successful, the client’s brain can normally process information again. When the traumatic event is brought to mind, he/she can no longer feel the same impact of the images, sounds, and feelings associated with it. A person will still remember what has happened, but it will be less upsetting.
Different kinds of therapy share the same goals with EMDR. However, EMDR is the one that appears to have similarities with what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. That is why this treatment can be considered as a physiologically based therapy that can help a patient see a disturbing material in a new and less distressing way.
To understand the nature of the problem and correctly identify whether or not EDMR is the appropriate treatment, a therapist may conduct one or more sessions with you. We will fully discuss the therapy and provide you with an opportunity to ask all of your concerns regarding the method. Once we have agreed that EMDR is the most suitable treatment for your specific problem, the actual therapy will start.
EMDR can last for about 60–90 minutes, and it may be used as a standard "talking" therapy, an adjunctive therapy with a separate therapist, or a treatment all by itself. The number of sessions required will depend on your life’s circumstances, the type of problems, and the amount of your previous trauma.
There are about 20 controlled studies about the effects of EMDR. The findings consistently suggest that for most clients, this therapy lessens/eliminates the symptoms of post-traumatic stress and improves the associated problems such as anxiety. Additionally, different researches have shown that EMDR can be an efficient and rapid treatment. In fact, based on the current treatment guidelines of the American Psychiatric Association and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, EMDR is one of the effective treatments for post-traumatic stress. The therapy is also seen as helpful to PTSD clients by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense, the United Kingdom Department of Health, the Israeli National Council for Mental Health, and other international health and government agencies.
Benefits of EMDR Therapy
Scientific research suggests that EMDR is a useful tool to treat patients suffering from post-traumatic stress. Through this therapy, some clinicians even reported to successfully treat patients with addictions, phobias, performance anxiety, pain disorders, dissociative disorders, and body dysmorphic disorders. In addition, EMDR can also help reduce stress and manage conditions such as panic attacks, complicated grief, and disturbing memories associated with sexual and physical abuse.
By undergoing an EMDR Therapy, you can receive both tangible and intangible benefits. Slowly, you will be able to move on from a traumatic event. Your nightmares will stop, and you will be able to sleep better. Panic attacks will either cease or become more manageable, and the uncomfortable feeling that you get in your stomach when you are nervous will disappear as well. The way you constantly scold and talk to yourself will also greatly subside and your mood will improve. You’ll learn how to manage anxiety.
By the end of the treatment, you will be able to feel, bond, and love. Forming relationships with other people will be easier, and you will be capable of being emotionally integrated and connected. Soon, you will no longer be triggered by your traumatic experiences, and you will become less emotionally reactive.
If you attend a counseling session with us, you will experience growth, have a lighter perspective on difficult situations, and become more mindful and focused. You will be able to easily separate reality from fiction, and that will help you make better decisions and be responsible for them. In addition, your locus of control will shift to yourself; you will have a new, healthier outlook on life and see good results.
Let us help drain the swamp of emotional anxiety and stress that you’re feeling! Get in touch with our team, and we will stay with you until you learn how to think of a traumatic memory lightly and let go of emotions associated with it. Our team will make you realize that your current situation is not as bad and dramatic as it may seem so that you will be able to live a positive and fulfilling life.