WHAT IS EMDR THERAPY?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a comprehensive psychotherapy that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma.
I have found EMDR therapy to be incredibly useful in my practice, and life changing for many clients. I’ve found it particularly helpful when clients have previously felt stuck with patterns of behaviors, the way they interact with others, or have negative deeply held beliefs about themselves that they can’t “just talk themselves out of”.
HOW DOES EMDR THERAPY WORK?
When a person is very distressed, their brain cannot process information as it normally does. A moment can become “frozen in time,” and remembering it may feel as bad as going through it the first time because the images, sounds, smells, and feelings haven’t changed. These memories may be upsetting and unresolved and have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person sees the world and the way they relate to other people.
EMDR therapy seems to have a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information. Our brains are capable of resiliency and healing, and I like to think of EMDR as the “nudge” to remind our brain how to process through that which was previously stuck. Normal information processing is resumed, and the memories become “unfrozen”. The memory is then stored the way other memories have been stored in the brain. Following successful EMDR therapy, a person no longer feels like they are reliving the past when thinking about the memory. You still remember what happened, but it is less upsetting. EMDR therapy helps a person see disturbing memories and experiences in a new and less distressing way.
Through EMDR therapy, resolution of distressing life events is accomplished with a standardized set of clinical protocols that incorporates alternating bilateral stimulation (visual, auditory and/or tactile). To learn more, please go to EMDRIA.org , watch this video and more info on trauma and the brain can be seen here.
I’ll tell you what freedom is to me. No fear.
– Nina Simone –
WHAT CAN EMDR THERAPY ADDRESS?
EMDR had been originally established as helpful for trauma, although it’s been proven useful for treatment in the following areas:
- Reproductive trauma and pregnancy loss
- Preparing for increased confidence in childbirth
- Decreasing distress and intrusive imagery during pregnancy
- Attachment / childhood wounds
- Panic Attacks
- Complicated and traumatic grief
- Dissociative Disorders
- Disturbing Memories
- Pain Disorders
- Performance Anxiety
- Stress Reduction
- Sexual and/or Physical Abuse
- Body Dysmorphic Disorders
- Personality Disorders
EMDR for Perinatal Mental Health Mom & Mind podcast episode
EMDR Therapy and Pregnancy blog article
Trauma And The Brain explanation
EMDR explanation video