EMDR and Trauma
EMDR can help you live your life with courage, optimism, and self confidence. For people who have experienced difficult life events, it restores a secure sense of wellbeing. EMDR also integrates emotional and cognitive functioning.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a powerful psychotherapy approach that has helped millions of people of all ages relieve many types of psychological distresses.
EMDR can greatly help alleviate or even eliminate uncomfortable feelings, such as:
In my work, I have seen EMDR facilitate a rapid decrease or elimination of anxiety, stressful thoughts, and/or traumatic memories, including intrusive thoughts, nightmares, flashbacks, panic, and emotional distress.
The EMDR Process
When a person experiences an upsetting event, one moment can become "frozen in time." Remembering the moment may be as upsetting as experiencing the moment itself. Such memories can have lasting negative effects that interferes with the way a person sees the world and relates to other people.
EMDR has a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information. Following a successful EMDR session, normal information processing is resumed, and the memory that remains is without emotional triggers. Therefore, the memory becomes less upsetting or neutral.
In the session, the client will call to mind the disturbing event or issue, what was seen, felt, heard, etc., and the client's current thoughts and beliefs. I will then facilitate what is called "dual attention stimulation." This process includes directed eye movements and verbal prompts, while the client focuses on these memories or thoughts.
Sets of eye movements are continued until the memory becomes less disturbing and it is associated with positive thoughts and beliefs about oneself. During EMDR, the client may experience intense emotions. However, by the end of the session, most people report a great reduction in the level of disturbance. The goal of completed treatment is to live with a feeling of calm and safety in everyday life.
EMDR as Effective Treatment
Approximately twenty controlled studies have investigated the effects of EMDR. These studies have consistently found that EMDR decreases or eliminates the symptoms of traumatic stress for the majority of clients. Clients often report improvement in other associated symptoms such as anxiety or depression.
Many organizations have found EMDR to be an effective treatment for post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression, including: