An Introduction to EMDR Therapy
EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy is an 8 phase, integrative, trauma treatment therapy. It is an evidence based therapy that is considered a recommended treatment choice for healing PTSD and traumatic events such as rape, sexual abuse, auto accidents, and combat. As research continues to grow, the efficacy of EMDR therapy has also shown to be helpful with clients experiencing addiction, anxiety, depression, chronic pain and other mental disorders.
EMDR therapy is designed to assist you in identifying the stored or stuck events in your life that keep getting triggered by present day experiences. It is these events, or unprocessed memories, that the brain stores with disturbing images, thoughts, emotions, and sensations that have been getting in your way and negatively impacting your life.
When a disturbing event or trauma occurs it can get locked in the nervous system with the original picture, thoughts, feelings, and body sensations. Since it is locked in, it can continue to be triggered whenever a reminder comes up. When we react to a current situation that has triggered the past event or trauma it can feel overwhelming and full of intense emotion. These emotions are really connected with the old event or trauma that happened in the past. The eye movements or any other dual attention stimulation (DAS) we use in EMDR therapy seem to unlock the nervous system and allow the mind and body to process the past events or trauma. Remember it is your own brain that will be doing the healing and that you are the one in control.
EMDR therapy helps facilitate the activation of the brain's inherent system to process and integrate information that has been stored or stuck. This process will not erase the memory, but rather allows you to remember the story without the emotional charge that was distressing prior to treatment. EMDR will assist you in becoming desensitized to the events that brought you distress in the past as well as aiding you in reprocessing the negative, maladaptive information stored in your brain thus bringing about an adaptive and healthy resolution.