EMDR: Effective Therapy for PTSD, Anxiety, Depression and More
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a powerful therapeutic approach that has helped millions of people relieve many types of psychological distress. It is designated as an effective treatment by the APA, the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S Department of Defense, the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, and more.
How Does EMDR Work?
When a person is highly distressed, the brain can't process this information the same way as it does with "ordinary" information. A painful memory may feel "frozen in time" and remembering it can feel as real as going through it the first time because the images, sounds and feelings haven't changed. These pervasive and upsetting memories have a lasting negative effect that can interfere with the way we see the world and relate to other people.
EMDR allows you to process an emotional experience that can be difficult to talk about so that following the session you can discuss it with considerable less distress. Most importantly, it can eliminate anxiety surrounding the event, with the purpose of allowing new life in the once traumatizing and emotionally difficult memory. After an EMDR session, you still remember an upsetting event, but it is less distressing and you no longer relive the images, sounds, and feelings when the event is brought to mind. Many types of therapy have similar goals, however, EMDR appears to be similar to what occurs naturally during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.
What Is An EMDR Session Like?
During EMDR, I will work with you to identify a specific problem to focus on. I'll ask you to recall a disturbing issue or event, what was seen, felt, heard, and thought. I'll also ask you to share what thought and beliefs are held as a result of the event. As you hold the memory in mind, I will facilitate either eye movements or other bilateral stimulation and ask you just to notice what comes to mind without any attempt to control what arises. Sets of eye movements are continued until the memory becomes less disturbing and is associated with positive thoughts and beliefs about yourself; for example, "I did the best I could." During the EMDR processing, you may experience great emotion, but by the end of the session, most clients report significant reductions in distress.
EMDR can resolve:
PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
Issues arising from Emotional, Physical, Sexual abuse