What is EMDR?
EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITIZATION & REPROCESSING
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a nontraditional type of psychotherapy. It's growing in popularity, particularly for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other trauma-based issues.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a powerful method of psychotherapy utilized in the treatment and relief of many types of psychological distress.
When an event is stored in short term memory, no matter how long ago the actual event happened, it causes the symptoms associated with ongoing, immediate trauma. Chronic anxiety, re-living of the event through flashbacks, nightmares, poor concentration, an intensified "startle" response, guilt, inability to think toward the future without fear of another traumatic event, are all symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Although PTSD is often associated with life events such as war, rape, natural disaster, and witnessing a violent death or crime, such symptoms can also result from recurring memories of childhood abuse, a traumatic car accident, loss of a loved one through death or divorce, or the experience of life threatening illness.
EMDR facilitates the shift of the traumatic issue from short-term to long-term memory. Clients report an instant shift toward well being, a sense of release, a feeling of peace and acceptance, and a deep appreciation for their own strength after EMDR therapy.
Research has identified EMDR an effective therapy for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In addition, it is also successful using EMDR in the treatment of the following:
· Anxiety Disorders
· Separation Issues
· Complicated Grief
· Disturbing Memories
· Stress Reduction
· Sexual, Emotional and/or Physical Abuse
· Panic Attacks
· Performance Anxiety
· Pain Disorders
· Eating Disorders
What is trauma?
Dr. Peter Levine, “Trauma is perhaps the most avoided, ignored, belittled, denied, misunderstood, and untreated cause of human suffering”. He adds that trauma is, “anything that is too much or comes to fast”.
Bessel van der Kolk describes emotional trauma as “anything that overwhelms the body’s ability to cope.”
Trauma is not merely about being stuck in a singular event or occurrence but refers more to our systemic reaction to that experience. And the damaging mindset that follows.
And because trauma is so uniquely interpreted by its victim, it is also reacted to differently. And that reaction and personal interpretation is how trauma is formed and becomes a catalyst to negative and life-altering behavior.
Trauma is about the loss of connection: loss of connection to our family, loss of connection to our friends, loss of connection to our environment and surroundings, and the most devastating loss is the feeling of loss of ourselves and our souls.
What to Expect
There are many ways that EMDR can be administered from hand-eye movement between you and your therapist, to music tones and even EMDR "buzzers."
People who use the technique argue that EMDR can weaken the effect of negative emotions. Before and after each EMDR treatment, your therapist will ask you to rate your level of distress. The hope is that your disturbing memories will become less disabling and allow you to heal passed the traumatic events and mindset.
We work directly with our clients to ensure they are comfortable and receiving the therapy they need to feel safe & secure. This helps to create a place of trust and understanding. We will create a treatment plan with you and get you on the path to happiness and self-assuredness.
To learn even more about EMDR Therapy, how it works, research behind it, and what it is like to experience it check out the EMDR International Association webpage for clients.