What is EMDR Trauma Therapy?
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a structured form of therapy that allows people to heal from the distress caused by traumatic experiences.
Unlike traditional talk therapy, EMDR uses eye movements, which are believed to to be connected with the biological mechanisms involved in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. These movements allow people to become desensitized to the memory and begin to process the disturbing feelings they have associated with the traumatic event.
Studies have found EMDR therapy to be successful at treating PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
How does EMDR work?
EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment designed to help treat trauma and loss.
During your session, your therapist will ask you to focus on a traumatic memory and then use hand movements across your field of vision. As your eyes focus on these movements, it sets off a physiological response that allows you work through the meaning of painful events and transform your emotional response.
For example a rape victim is likely to feel horror or have feelings of self-disgust associated with the event. Through EMDR therapy they may transform their emotional response to a feeling of strength for having survived the event.
Is EMDR trauma therapy right for me?
EMDR therapy can help any person dealing with trauma or a loss that has prevented them living a happy life.
You may consider EMDR therapy if you are dealing with trauma: an event or memory so negative you are not able to process it and struggling with the following problems:
- Each time the traumatic memory is triggered it brings you back to the experience and recreates the event in your mind, sparking the same feelings of the original trauma.
- You have repressed memories from an early life trauma and do not understand why you have certain emotional triggers or low self-esteem.
- The emotional stress from the trauma has created physical reactions including Inflammatory Bowel Disease, muscle tension, elevated stress hormones or sexual dysfunction.
What types of trauma can EMDR treat?
Scientific research has established EMDR as effective for post traumatic stress. It has also been successfully used to treat the following conditions:
- Sexual abuse
- Physical abuse
- Childhood abuse
- Victims of violent crimes
- Pain disorders
- Personality Disorders
- Complicated grief
- Loss of a loved one
- Post-traumatic stress
- Disturbing memories
- Performance anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Dissociative disorders
- Body dysmorphic disorders
- Stress reduction
- Car accident victims
- Fire victims
- People who have experienced natural disasters
Does EMDR really work?
Approximately 20 controlled studies have investigated the effects of EMDR. These studies have consistently found that EMDR effectively decreases or eliminates the symptoms of post traumatic stress for the majority of clients.
Clients often report improvement in other associated symptoms such as anxiety. Research has also shown that EMDR can be an efficient and rapid treatment.
EMDR has been found effective by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense, and many other international health and governmental agencies.
Find out more about how EMDR therapy for can start improving emotional well-being and overall quality of life!
The Center for Holistic Mental Health and Sex Therapy is pleased to accept the following insurance