What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapy tool that is used for trauma, PTSD, anxiety and panic attacks among other issues. It is a scientifically-based and research-supported therapy. After a traumatic experience, our brain sometimes needs help moving out of the fight, flight or freeze response. If a person experiences reoccurring images, thoughts or emotions related to a traumatic experience, they can feel stuck or “frozen in time”. EMDR therapy helps the brain process these memories through bilateral stimulation and allows normal healing to resume.
What does a EMDR session look like?
In a session using EMDR, the client identifies the disruptive memory and the accompanying negative self-belief. The client then focuses on a bilateral stimulation (I use sound and/or tactile vibration in the hand) while thinking about the memory and negative belief. During the session, the client processes the memory in a safe environment, and can often gain healthy insight into the trauma memory and themselves as well as experience relief from their negative thought patterns. EMDR is a tool I utilize after I have completed a thorough client evaluation to determine if it is appropriate for my client. I do not use EMDR as a stand-alone form of therapy, but as one of many approaches to help bring relief to mental health issues.
Who could benefit from EMDR?
Clients who have experienced some form of trauma (i.e. sexual assault, driving anxiety, natural disaster distress, medical complications) and have a desire for release from the symptoms that hold them back from living the life they want.
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