How EMDR Therapy Can Help Adult Victims of Child Abuse and Sexual Violence
EMDR therapy has been proven to be successful in aiding adult victims of child abuse and sexual violence process and heal from these upsetting experiences. Trauma such as this can have a profound effect on someone’s life, leaving them feeling deeply ashamed and guilty.
The therapist will begin by asking the client to focus on the image or memory being processed. They may be given grounding exercises and other techniques in order to manage their emotions during this period of change.
They will then be instructed to engage in bilateral eye movements with the therapist. After this, the therapist will ask the client to describe their sensations, thoughts and emotions to them.
This part of the session is used to help your brain work through memories, relieving any distress associated with them and installing positive emotions instead. This may take multiple sessions depending on how severe the issue is and your willingness to go through with it.
EMDR therapy can be effective in processing various types of traumatic memories. These may include:
The therapist will utilize various techniques to ground the client during this process and teach them self-control and relaxation skills. Furthermore, they guarantee that clients remain balanced both during and between sessions, enabling them to be open about what they are experiencing.
These techniques may involve imagery, resource building and thought replacement. The therapist will then ask the client about their memory of the experience and how it has affected them.
Once the therapist has an accurate understanding of what the client has been dealing with, they can begin working together on this problem. A combination of bilateral stimulation and grounding techniques may be employed in order to help the brain move through memories and release any associated distress.
For instance, if the client is dealing with test anxiety, they might be taught various types of imagery and techniques to help them cope. The therapist then encourages the client to practice these strategies between sessions in order to reduce stress levels.
Another popular method for grounding a patient is through body scans. These standardized processes involve using a holter monitor, small camera and handheld recording device that capture the client’s physiological responses.
One client, J, experienced sexual attraction to children after an adolescent period of physical and emotional abuse. After EMDR therapy, however, his sexual arousal had significantly diminished. Before treatment began, seeing male children that reminded him of himself at that age would trigger his sexual response; however after completion of EMDR therapy there was no longer any such response in connection with this memory.