How Does EMDR Work?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an effective therapy that assists people in dealing with painful memories. This type of therapy may also be utilized for other mental health conditions like anxiety or depression.
EMDR utilizes bilateral stimulation as a form of psychotherapy to help patients process traumatic experiences. This method helps clients alter faulty beliefs that cause negative emotions and behaviors, making it useful in treating conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse.
The basic concept behind EMDR is that a disturbing memory can disrupt the natural information processing system in your brain, leading to intense suffering and emotional distress. Once this disruption has been rectified, however, the healing process within the brain can resume its natural course.
Your healthcare provider and you will begin with a brief history session to get to know each other better. This may include discussing any traumas or upsetting memories you might have encountered as well as developing any necessary coping skills for future sessions. Furthermore, you’ll gain an understanding of the therapy itself and how best to prepare for it.
Your therapist will then provide a series of visual stimuli, such as moving light devices or sound devices that use touch on both sides of your body. These are the most common methods for EMDR; however, newer technologies might involve tapping on hands or arms.
During an EMDR session, you will focus on a painful or upsetting memory that has been causing you distress. This can be an intimidating task if it has never been done before.
Once identified, your therapist can guide you through a set of steps to recall that memory in an accepting and nonjudgmental manner. They may also help identify any emotions, thoughts or bodily sensations connected to the memory.
Your therapist will also provide you with a special tool that you can utilize in everyday life, such as a CD or video that helps you relive the traumatic event in a less distressing way. Additionally, they’ll give you a list of coping skills and stress reduction techniques between sessions for use between appointments.
Treatment can take anywhere from six to twelve sessions, depending on your individual situation. While some individuals require fewer sessions than others, most can benefit from at least six to 12 treatments.
EMDR is a relatively new therapeutic technique, and researchers are still trying to discover why it works so well. There’s evidence that it helps reduce PTSD symptoms; however, experts are uncertain how long this effect lasts or if additional therapy might be needed in the future.
Selecting an EMDR therapist is similar to selecting a regular therapist; make sure they possess specialized training. You may check their credentials on psychiatry websites or inquire about their experience with EMDR.