What is EMDR?
EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy is a unique and innovative technique in treatment that targets trauma.
Because our information processing system in our brain is overwhelmed in times of significant stress, such as rape, childhood sexual or physical abuse, an accident, domestic violence, the traumatic event or situation can be "frozen" or "locked" in our memory and/or body. EMDR can also be used for events that may not been defined as traumatic, in a traditional sense, but still can have a negative impact on a person't life such as a death of a loved one, bullying, ongoing illness, or for reducing the level of intensity of urges, triggers and cravings in a person's addiction. With all these experiences, a person will could form a negative belief about themselves or their environment. This negative belief or belief system can become extremely distressing in their life.
EMDR has shown to have a direct way on the way the brain processes information. It does not just address thoughts and feelings, as talk therapy does, but creates a mind-body connection by assisting in combing your memories what emotions a person may have, any negative thoughts come, and sensations experienced in the body as they remember the past experiences or triggers.
Benefits of EMDR
- Decreases the intensity of emotional distress
- Closure to your past
- Experience the world/environment in new way
- Decrease the intensity of triggers, urges and craving in one's addiction
- Utilizes the brain's own natural healing and processing ability
- It is an effective and relatively short term intervention
What to Expect in an EMDR Session?
At first, I will learn what negative or traumatic experiences you may have gone through that are causing fear, anxiety, depression, a sense of being stuck or compulsive behaviors. We will identify specific memories, disturbing images or sounds, body sensations, feelings and emotions, and the negative beliefs related to those memories. Then, while holding that information, we will use bi-lateral (both sides of your body) stimulation,tones and pulses, that will help you gain better access to the specific memory. The bi-lateral stimulation is done until you find the memory has lost it's intensity of disturbance or you experience a feeling of safety and empowerment.
Each client will process information differently and the time it takes varies as will. Some people will notice a difference immediately while others take several sessions to notices changes in their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. EMDR sessions generally are 60 or 90 minutes long.
After an EMDR session is over, some clients may experience light headedness, emotional reactivity, a headache and vivid dreams, just to name a few. Most people's reaction is mild and quickly subsides following the session. Increased focus on self care therefore can be very beneficial to relieve any negative side effects that may occur.