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An Overview of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy

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An Overview of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of therapy that utilizes rhythmic left-right stimulation to aid people recover from traumatic or distressing experiences. EMDR was first developed in the 1980s by psychologist Francine Shapiro to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

EMDR treatment involves working with your healthcare provider to process memories and triggers from a past trauma or other stressful event. The therapist may use various techniques, such as eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation, to accomplish this goal.

The therapy consists of an eight-phase sequence that examines three time periods: the past, present and future. It also seeks to alter beliefs and behaviors which contribute to negative feelings and symptoms associated with PTSD.

The initial part of an EMDR session begins with the therapist getting acquainted with you and your history. They’ll identify any current concerns or underlying causes for them, as well as determine what goals you hope to achieve through therapy.

The second part of an EMDR session focuses on a particular memory or traumatic event you are struggling to process. You will focus on this memory while your therapist tracks your eyes with her finger or other stimulus, such as a metronome.

Your therapist may use only your eyes or other forms of external stimulation such as tapping on your hand or using a device that pulses in both hands to stimulate vision. She may also instruct you to follow the tip of her finger or utilize other methods like specialized light devices or sounds moving back and forth from one side of your body to the other.

Your therapist will guide you through rapid eye movements that activate specific parts of your brain involved in processing information. The purpose is to reprocess traumatic memories while focusing on positive images, thoughts, emotions and beliefs.

The concluding stage of an EMDR therapy session entails teaching you a new, positive belief to replace the old negative ones. This is an essential step in reprocessing traumatic memories. Your therapist will guide you to focus on this mental image by following her finger with your eyes while strengthening this new belief until it becomes completely true.

Reprogramming memories into new, positive ones is known as “reprogramming”. By recalling trauma and its associated feelings, your brain learns how to process them in a less damaging manner – enabling you to move on with life without experiencing another painful flashback.

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- Welcome, SoundTherapy.com lowers anxiety 86%, pain 77%, and boosts memory 11-29%. Click on the brain to sign up or share with buttons below to help others:
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