EMDR Therapy - What is it and does it work ?
Are you looking for a solution to your stress, anxiety, and trauma? Take a deep breath and keep reading! We’re about to dive into an innovative psychotherapy called EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). This type of therapy has been gaining traction because it offers multi-tiered relief from mental health issues. Despite having an unconventional approach to therapy, people who try it often report that their lives have drastically improved as a result. If all this sounds intriguing—and even impossible—then let’s get started learning what EMDR is all about.
What is EMDR Therapy
EMDR is a structured therapy that encourages the patient to focus briefly on the trauma memory while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation (typically eye movements), which is associated with a reduction in the vividness and emotion associated with the trauma memories. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and PTSD symptoms
What does EMDR treatment look like
EMDR therapy is unlike other trauma-focused treatments, which aim to reduce fear, avoidant behaviors, or change problematic thoughts. Instead, EMDR works on transforming the memory itself. The resulting byproducts of EMDR’s memory shift are a decrease or elimination of PTSD diagnoses, negative emotions, problematic behaviors, and erroneous thoughts. Other effects have been reported anecdotally and in case studies, but further rigorous research is needed to verify their effectiveness. Keep on reading!
EMDR relies on the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model, a theory about how your brain stores memories. This theory, developed by Francine Shapiro, PhD, who also developed EMDR, recognizes that your brain stores normal and traumatic memories differently.
According to the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model, most psychological disorders are the result of past experiences that cause feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, self-denigration, and a lack of personal efficacy. These unprocessed memories are stored in a state-specific form, which can be triggered by current situations, resulting in negative beliefs and emotions affecting the present.
The AIP model suggests that humans have an innate information processing system that naturally moves towards health, growth, and learning. The model further suggests that the effects of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy are precisely aligned with this natural information processing system.
Reprocessing, Repair and Wellness
EMDR therapy helps process the past, present, and future aspects of the disturbing experience, leading to the spontaneous access and integration of memory networks containing adaptive information with dysfunctional memories. This process results in resolution and transformation.
When you undergo EMDR, you access memories of a trauma event in very specific ways. Combined with eye movements and guided instructions, accessing those memories helps you reprocess what you remember from the negative event.
That reprocessing helps “repair” the mental injury from that memory. Remembering what happened to you will no longer feel like reliving it, and the related feelings will be much more manageable.
If you are you feeling down, overwhelmed and like there is no way to get out of the proverbial black hole. If so, maybe it’s time for you to explore EMDR therapy. This may sound intimidating at first – but seriously amazing potential benefits that can help individuals achieve greater levels of mental wellness. Essentially, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a type of psychotherapy used to help reduce symptoms associated with depression, anxiety and trauma