EMDR (Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is one of the most researched, highly effective and efficient psychotherapy treatments used to treat a wide variety of issues, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Complex Trauma (C-PTSD), Panic Attacks, Anxiety, Phobias, Childhood Traumas, Physical, Sexual and Emotional Abuse, and Grief and Loss. Because EMDR is a proven, evidenced based approach, many Mental Health Organizations promote and support EMDR, including the American Psychiatric Association, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, The U.S. Department of Health, The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, The U.S. Department of Defense, and the World Health Organization. EMDR is a Three Prong model (Past, Present, Future) that consists of 8 Phases of Treatment (History Taking, Preparation, Assessment & Reprocessing, Desentization, Installation, Body Scan, Closure and Re-evaluation)
So, how does EMDR work?
EMDR utilizes the natural healing ability of the brain. After a thorough assessment, clients will be asked specific questions about a particular disturbing memory. Next, comes rapid, back and forth (aka- bilateral) movements, which can be delivered visually with eye movements, tactically with pulsers or tappers, or auditorily with sound. These back and forth, rhythmic movements are referred to as Bilateral Stimulation and they help diminish the power of emotionally charged memories of past traumatic events. EMDR assists clients in reprocessing (revisiting and relearning) earlier life events that have contributed to present day symptoms. Reprocessing allows those older memories to be stored correctly in the brain so that emotions, thoughts and sensory perceptions are no longer triggered. The experience “feels like a memory” and can be talked about in a verbal “story” mode. EMDR also assists clients in identifying negative beliefs that developed as a result of earlier life experiences. After clients desensitize a memory (Phase 4 in the EMDR process), they are able to replace the negative belief they previously held, with a positive and more adaptive belief about themself (ie- “I did the best I could, or “I am safe now.”).
Is EMDR right for me?
This is a great question. If you feel that EDMR is right for you the next step would be to reach out to a licensed therapist that is trained in EMDR therapy. Scheduling an intake session will allow the therapist to determine if EMDR is right for you. There are many things to consider before applying EMDR therapy and a therapist that is trained in this area can assess if it is right for you.
Amy Heap is one of our four EMDR therapists we have available at Authentic Connections
To schedule an appointment with Amy today, call 720-370-3010