What is EMDR Therapy?
Have you ever heard of EMDR Therapy? If this acronym sounds familiar, it is likely because therapists in a variety different specializations now offer it. So what is EMDR Therapy exactly? EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy, is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma, anxiety, panic disorders, disturbing memories, post traumatic stress, and many other emotional problems.
How Does EMDR Therapy Work?
EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. While no one knows exactly what happens in the brain as a result of any psychotherapy technique, what we do know is that when a person experiences intense emotions, the brain cannot process information as it ordinarily does. This causes the brain to “freeze” for a moment, rather than integrating and processing as it normally would, thus causing the affected person to relive the moment over and over with the same intensity as if it is happening for the first time.
What is EMDR Therapy in Technical Terms and What Does a Session Look Like?
EMDR Therapy uses bilateral stimulation or right/left eye movement, in exercises such as tracking fingers moving side to side in front of one’s face, or, tactile stimulation, such as hand tapping, to activate the right and left sides of the brain. During this, the patient recounts the distressing memory. By correlating the stimulation with the recounting of the trauma, this type of therapy activates brain functions similar to what happens in REM sleep in order to trigger the brain to resume its normal processing abilities. As a result, the “frozen” moment is “released” and allowed to melt, so to speak, each time it is remembered thereafter. The patient is now able to recover as the brain resumes it’s natural processes and integration of information.
How Long Does EMDR Take?
There are 8 phases of EMDR. You will start with an opening discussion of your history and the issues you are trying to resolve. This will allow your therapist to be able to decide if EMDR Therapy is right for you. The process has no definitive amount of time, as each patient is different and the complexity of the issues needing resolution can differ vastly.
The middle phases, phases 3-6, involve the hard work of utilizing the techniques outlined in the above section. If you’re still asking what is EMDR Therapy and want a more in depth look at these processes, check out this article in Very Well Mind.
The treatment ends with closing discussions summarizing your progress and giving you the tools you need to continue this positive change outside of therapy.
How Do I Know if EMDR is Right for Me?
EMDR Therapy has been shown to be highly effective in treating a vast range of conditions. The already long list keeps growing as the practice of EMDR Therapy continues to expand since it’s conception in 1989. If you are curious about your current mental health condition and whether or not EDMR could be the right solution for you, get in touch with us today! We are proud to offer trained professionals specializing in EMDR Therapy that can lead you towards a happy and healthy life.