What Is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR is one of the most effective evidence based therapies available.
One of the central goals of EMDR is to help you leave the past in the past. Have you found yourself in the same situation again and again, or repeating thought patterns and behaviors even though you know better? Even though you’ve had insight with other therapies. Insight doesn’t equal change in deeply held patterns. Often this is due to unresolved issues from the past that have become wired into our neural pathways. Trauma and difficult experiences can impact our emotions, thoughts, moods and behaviors for years. EMDR is an evidence-based therapy that uses bilateral stimulation of the brain to help release old patterns.
How does EMDR Therapy work?
EMDR uses bilateral stimulation, right/left eye movement, sound or tactile stimulation. Any of these techniques will repeatedly activate the opposite sides of your brain. This movement is proven to support releasing emotional experiences that have gotten “trapped” in your nervous system. EMDR removes the blocks that hold us back from healing. EMDR helps you to process past images, memories, and sensations without having to re-live them as you would with other exposure therapies.
How does EMDR Therapy effect the Brain?
Our brains have a natural way to recover from traumatic memories and events. This process involves communication between the amygdala (the alarm signal for stressful events), the hippocampus (which assists with learning, including memories about safety and danger), and the prefrontal cortex (which analyzes and controls behavior and emotion). While many times traumatic experiences can be managed and resolved spontaneously, they may not be processed without help.
Stress responses are part of our natural fight, flight, or freeze instincts. When distress from a disturbing event remains, the upsetting images, thoughts, and emotions may create an overwhelming feeling of being back in that moment, or of being “frozen in time.” EMDR therapy helps the brain process these memories, and allows normal healing to resume. The experience is still remembered, but the fight, flight, or freeze response from the original event is resolved.
What can EMDR do? What can it treat?
EMDR is often used to treat individuals who have been through trauma, trauma can also manifest as many of the following symptoms and diagnoses. This form of psychotherapy is often used to treat many issues.
Clients often report that the emotional distress related to their past experiences or trauma “greatly lessens” after undergoing EMDR therapy. Commonly, clients report that sleep comes easier, anxiety is reduced, and their quality of life has overall improved. Contact me today to discuss whether EMDR therapy is right for you.
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