emdr trauma therapy

EMDR, short for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is an innovative therapy designed to aid in the processing of trauma and traumatic triggers. Developed by Francine Shapiro in 1988, EMDR has undergone extensive research and has proven to be highly effective in addressing various forms of trauma, such as attachment-based trauma, car accidents, war trauma, sexual assault, chronic pain, anxiety, and depression.

EMDR offers a swift pathway to effectiveness, often achieving results in just a few sessions. By harnessing the body's natural healing mechanisms, EMDR facilitates the connection between the brain and body's memory networks to fully process traumatic memories, guided by the individual and supported by a therapist.

During an EMDR session, individuals focus on a distressing memory while engaging in bilateral stimulation, which involves activities like eye movements, tapping, or auditory cues that alternate from left to right. This bilateral stimulation assists in diminishing the intensity of emotional and physical responses associated with the memory.

Through the activation of both brain hemispheres, individuals can navigate past the trauma and alleviate the emotional and physical toll it imposes on the nervous system. Importantly, verbalizing the traumatic event is not mandatory in EMDR, allowing individuals to tap into their natural healing capacities and arrive at new connections and insights independently, often resulting in a sense of empowerment upon full memory processing.

The outcomes of EMDR foster closure and expedite healing by integrating the trauma's impact on the brain and body. Following EMDR therapy, individuals retain memory of the event without experiencing the distress of reliving it, enabling them to manage triggers or associated feelings more effectively moving forward.

understanding emdr therapy

how emdr works

While stress responses are a natural aspect of human survival instincts, traumatic experiences can cause certain aspects of the brain and body to become "stuck," resembling an injury to the brain and body akin to scar tissue over an old wound. EMDR assists in addressing this by facilitating integration and understanding of the original trauma and associated negative thoughts.

By engaging both the mind and senses, EMDR supports individuals in processing past experiences and restoring a sense of safety in the present. Although individuals retain memory of the event, the resolution of the nervous system's stress response enhances their ability to cope with triggers or associated feelings.

EMDR has demonstrated effectiveness and safety primarily for issues related to traumatic experiences. However, it may not be suitable for mental health conditions arising from injuries or inherited conditions. While EMDR does not directly alter physical injuries, it can alleviate associated pain. Common issues treated with EMDR include PTSD, anxiety, depression, dissociation, eating disorders, OCD, personality disorders, and acute stress.

The potential benefits of EMDR therapy are manifold, including trauma resolution, improved focus and concentration, better sleep quality, reduced distressing symptoms, enhanced physical health, improved relationships, gaining new perspectives, and experiencing progress in less time compared to traditional therapy methods.

why is emdr effective

what emdr helps address

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