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EMDR Therapy

Trauma can cause excruciating emotional pain. You don’t have to suffer in silence, we can help you.

What is EMDR?

EMDR therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on helping individuals who have gone through traumatic events. This therapy involves using bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements, while recalling traumatic memories. The aim is to help the individual process the trauma in a more positive way, which can decrease the intensity of traumatic memories and associated negative emotions.

A randomized controlled trial (RCT) conducted in 1989 marked the introduction of EMDR therapy, as it examined the effects of this therapy on individuals who had experienced trauma (RCT reference unavailable).

 

How’s the client’s experience during EMDR

 

Individual experiences and responses to EMDR therapy can vary, as each person's experience is unique. The therapy session involves the therapist guiding you through recalling a traumatic memory while using bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements, to reprocess the memory. Some people may feel a slight tingling or pulsing sensation during the bilateral stimulation, while others may not feel anything. Different emotions, such as sadness, anxiety, or relief, may arise during the session as you work through the traumatic memory. 

 

What's EMDR's impact on our brain? 

The brain's structure, with its interconnected networks of communicating cells, is crucial for the functioning of our minds, particularly in relation to memories and senses. Our brains have a natural ability to recover from traumatic memories and events through communication between the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. While traumatic experiences can sometimes resolve spontaneously, they may require assistance for proper processing. EMDR therapy aids in the processing of these memories, enabling the resumption of normal healing. This allows the experience to be remembered while resolving the fight, flight, or freeze response associated with the original event.

What makes EMDR unique? 

 

EMDR therapy offers a unique approach to psychotherapy with its specific techniques and focus on trauma processing. EMDR therapy has several distinguishing characteristics when compared to talk therapy:

 

1) Dual Attention Stimulation: EMDR therapy incorporates bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements, auditory tones, or physical taps, to facilitate the processing of traumatic memories. EMDR therapy facilitates the brain's natural healing process instead of directly targeting and modifying the emotions, thoughts, or behaviors associated with the distressing issue.

2) EMDR therapy, grounded in the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model, aims to reorganize and integrate traumatic memories that may be trapped or inadequately stored in the brain's memory networks.

3) EMDR therapy is recognized for its ability to achieve substantial symptom reduction in a shorter time frame compared to other therapies. By expediting the processing of traumatic memories, EMDR therapy enables clients to experience faster progress.

What does EMDR help with?

EMDR therapy has been extensively researched and proven to be an effective psychotherapy approach for trauma and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Ongoing studies continue to demonstrate positive clinical outcomes, indicating that EMDR therapy can be beneficial for a range of disorders including anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

EMDR Therapy can be used to treat following presenting issues:

  1. Panic attacks

  2. Anxiety disorders

  3. Depression

  4. Phobias

  5. Complicated grief

  6. Chronic pain

  7. Substance abuse and addiction

  8. Performance anxiety

  9. Eating disorders

  10. Sexual and physical abuse trauma

Sources: 

Shapiro, E., & Maxfield, L. (2019)

Efficacy of the eye movement desensitization procedure in the treatment of traumatic memories

https://www.emdria.org/about-emdr-therapy/

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/22641-emdr-therapy

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