Many of us have had a traumatic experience in our lives whether it be sexual abuse, negative family experiences, childhood abuse, bullying, a car accident, loss of a loved one, war, poverty or an intense health scare.
Everyone deals with the pain differently. For some, the trauma feels as if it’s made us stuck, unable to move forward. Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing, or EMDR Therapy, is a powerful and highly effective method used by therapists to help resolve disturbing experiences and PTSD. EMDR therapy gets you unstuck.
How Does it Work?
EMDR therapy is a structured process that takes place in a safe environment with a trained psychotherapist. Symptom relief is achieved through the reprocessing of disturbing events, as well as the emotions, negative beliefs, body sensations and images associated with them. The EMDR therapy involves a combination of free association and bilateral stimulation, which may unlock the mind and body’s natural capacity to heal.
One of the great aspects of EMDR therapy is that it allows you to reprocess negative life experiences impacting your current functioning without having to talk about it much. Unlike other therapies where you need to provide long descriptions of painful events, EMDR does not require this. EMDR therapy builds on your own positive internal and external resources that you already have. This results in a powerful therapy that allows you to live a healthy and happy life going forward.
In the first phase of EMDR treatment, we explore your history, your goals and develop a treatment plan. This phase will include a discussion of the specific problem that brought you into therapy, and the behaviors and symptoms stemming from that problem.
In this phase, I will teach you some specific techniques so you have tools to manage any emotional disturbance that may arise. One of the primary goals of the preparation phase is to establish a relationship of trust between you and the therapist.
In this phase, you will be prompted by the therapist to notice different aspects of a specific memory.
In this phase, we reprocess the disturbing incident until it is neutral. You will still remember the incident, but it will no longer cause you distress.
The goal is to concentrate on and increase the strength of the positive response you have identified to replace your original negative response.
Here I will ask you to bring the original target event to mind and see if any residual tension is noticed in the body. If so, these physical sensations are then targeted for reprocessing.
Phase 8: Reevaluation
At the beginning of subsequent sessions, we check to make sure that the positive results have been maintained, identify any new areas that need treatment and continue reprocessing the additional targets.
What Does EMDR Therapy Treat?
- Trauma/ PTSD
- Anxiety and Depression
- Reduce Unhealthy Anger
- Fear and Avoidance
- Resolve painful emotions
What Does the Scientific Research Say About EMDR?
EMDR Therapy has been extensively researched and has been found to be a highly effective treatment for trauma. The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved EMDR therapy as one of the only psychotherapies recommended for children, adolescents and adults with PTSD.
Does it Require Special Training?
Yes. In order to be certified in EMDR as a therapist, at least 50 hours of training and education are required. I have found EMDR to be transformative for my clients who have experienced trauma. I am also an EMDRIA Approved Consultant where I provide consults to other therapists.
Helping others heal from trauma is something that is very important for me in my practice.
If you think you would like to learn more or schedule a session with me, please call me at 720-295-4233 and I would be happy to visit with you or chat by phone. Your past no longer has to hold you back. EMDR therapy is a powerful way to create the life you want.