EMDR Therapy For Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
EMDR therapy is a widely-used treatment method that has been scientifically proven to be successful in treating post-traumatic stress disorder. It can benefit individuals of all ages who have experienced trauma and are struggling to process their emotions and manage their behavior.
At the start of EMDR therapy, your therapist will evaluate your symptoms and behaviors to decide if EMDR is suitable for you. They may also discuss personal goals and how you might like to utilize the therapy moving forward.
Next, your therapist will provide an overview of the 8-phase process used in EMDR therapy. Each phase is designed to make processing memories safer and less painful for you.
Your therapist will ask you to identify the memories that cause you pain and distress, whether they be recent or distant events. After identifying these triggers, they can offer solutions like mindfulness exercises and coping techniques so you can learn to manage them better.
Once you become acquainted with EMDR, your therapist will begin practicing the eye movements and other BLS components necessary for effective treatment. Additionally, they will instruct you on keeping a journal during sessions so that you can share any new thoughts or feelings with them.
When your therapist asks you to recall a memory, they will use eye movements as prompts for focus on the memory in an encouraging and nonjudgmental way. You will also be encouraged to change how you think about the trauma by helping replace negative beliefs with healthier ones.
EMDR eye movements are designed to help your brain process and integrate trauma. Your therapist will ask you to focus on your traumatic memory, then move their fingers back and forth in front of your face while asking you to follow along with your eyes.
Once the eye movement is complete, scan your body for any residual physical sensations related to the original trauma. These could include abdominal cramping, irritable bowel syndrome, muscle tension or headaches.
Finally, your therapist may suggest participating in dual attention stimuli (DAS) until any physical sensations subside. This can be helpful for relieving any current physical symptoms you are feeling and it helps you recall the memory more accurately for future reference.
Eye movements are just one of the techniques employed in EMDR to process trauma memories and replace negative beliefs about them. Your therapist may also utilize other approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy, person centered therapy or psychodynamic therapy to treat your trauma.
Your therapist can also help manage any emotional distress that arises between sessions, and they’ll give you self-calming techniques to use at home.
Your therapist will use eye movements and other procedures to process each of your targeted memories, guiding you through them step-by-step. After the session has concluded, they will review progress made and decide if further EMDR therapy is necessary.