What is emdr?
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of psychotherapy for healing from traumatic and distressing life experiences. EMDR can be offered both during in person sessions and virtually over teletherapy.
EMDR has been proven to eliminate the emotional distress associated with challenging life experiences, to transform negative beliefs, and to reduce symptoms such as physiological arousal (racing heart, palpitations, physical tension), emotional overwhelm and pain, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts, memories, feelings, or flashbacks.
EMDR is great for people who have not found talk therapy to be helpful. Our brain stores traumatic memories differently than other memories and EMDR helps to heal the brain so that those memories are less impactful and triggering.
EMDR can be helpful with both one time events and multiple events or memories that have been traumatic, caused emotional pain, created feelings of powerlessness, and/or reduced self-esteem.
Examples of single traumas include a car crash, accident, traumatic death (death of a loved one, miscarriage, child loss, suicide), traumatic birth, physical or sexual assault, serious injury, natural disasters, violent crime, witnessing a traumatic event, or another one time trauma event.
Some examples of multiple trauma events could include physical and sexual assaults, childhood trauma, physical or emotional abuse, interpersonal violence, childhood neglect, medical trauma, serious chronic illness, bullying, living in a warzone, and other traumatic events that occurred more than once or over a period of time.
How can EMDR help?
EMDR can reduce or eliminate symptoms such as physiological arousal (racing heart, palpitations, physical tension), emotional overwhelm and pain, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts, memories, feelings, or flashbacks.
mental health concerns
EMDR can be helpful with PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, depression, sleep disturbance, dissociation, disordered eating, grief and loss, pain, performance anxiety, adjustment disorder, and substance abuse and addiction.
Changing your brain
Upsetting thoughts, images, feelings or sensory triggers like smell or sound may take us back to our trauma or create overwhelm. EMDR helps the brain process these memories and allows our fight, flight, or freeze response to resolve.
What Can I expect?
EMDR has 8 phases and you will go through each one at your own pace with the power and control to stop or pause at anytime. You’ll begin with treatment planning and building trust with your therapist, move into reprocessing without talking about the events and desensitization. After that you will work together to install positive beliefs and relieve any lingering physical symptoms. Each session will close with calming techniques to find equilibrium. And every session will begin with a re-evaluation of the treatment plan.
How Long Will It Take?
It could take several sessions to process one traumatic experience. Although EMDR therapy often has faster results than other forms of therapy, speed is not the goal. It is important to remember that every client has different needs. So one client may spend more time in some of the 8 phases and less time in others. Each person’s process is different and our EMDR therapists will work to give you the unique support you need as you complete your EMDR treatment.
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