What is EMDR Therapy?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a psychotherapy treatment proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences including anxiety, panic disorders, and depression. Through the use of bilateral stimulation (including eye movement) clients are able to process and integrate past experiences.
Some traumatic events can be too overwhelming to process at the time the event occurred. This can lead to the memories being stored maladaptively, causing distressing symptoms, negative views of the self and bodily disturbances. EMDR can help to process the old memory and relieve any current distress associated with the event.
EMDR is different from traditional talk therapies in that it does not require talking in detail about distressing events, nor does it require clients to remember past events or memories that may be contributing to current symptoms. For many clients, EMDR therapy can be completed in fewer sessions than other psychotherapies.
What can I expect in EMDR Therapy?
Understanding Your Unique Needs:
Before we begin EMDR therapy, we'll conduct a comprehensive assessment to understand your specific challenges, trauma history, and therapy goals. This personalized approach ensures that the therapy is tailored to your individual needs. Together, we will identify specific target memories or events that will be the focus of the treatment.
Preparing for EMDR Processing:
Before diving into the EMDR process, we will utilize relaxation and grounding techniques to help you feel calm and centered. It's important to be in a state of emotional balance before reprocessing traumatic memories.
Bilateral Stimulation (Eye Movements, Tapping, or Audio):
During the processing phase, you'll engage in bilateral stimulation, a key component of EMDR therapy. This may involve following the therapist's hand movements (or a dot across your screen if using teletherapy) with your eyes, tapping, or listening to bilateral audio tones. These techniques facilitate the brain's natural healing processes.
Processing Traumatic Memories:
While engaging in bilateral stimulation, you will be encouraged to allow your mind to wander and observe whatever thoughts, images, or emotions arise. The therapist will guide you through this process, encouraging you to express your feelings and thoughts as they come up.
Exploring and Restructuring Beliefs:
As distressing memories are processed, we will work on identifying and restructuring negative beliefs associated with these memories. You'll be supported in replacing these beliefs with positive, adaptive ones, fostering a healthier self-perception.
In this phase, we will explore potential future scenarios or situations that might trigger distress. This integration empowers you to apply what you've learned, making future situations that were once challenging easier to navigate. You will develop coping strategies and a stronger sense of self, allowing you to face future challenges with newfound strength and confidence.
If you have any questions about what to expect in an EMDR session or are ready to schedule your appointment, please feel free to reach out. I am here to support you every step of the way.