EMDR Treatment For Trauma

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Have you experienced a traumatic event?  Do memories of it seep into your day causing you distress?  Perhaps you have repeated nightmares? You do not need to keep suffering.  No matter the event, it does not need to define the rest of your life. There is help.  Read below.

What is EMDR?

 A sophisticated method to heal trauma.  It is scientifically studied to be beneficial.  Oftentimes, requiring less time than more traditional forms of psychotherapy. 

When trauma occurs it seems to get locked in the brain with the original picture, sounds, thoughts, and feelings. The eye movements we use in EMDR seem to unlock the system and allow the brain to process the experience.  …It is important to remember that it is your own brain that will be doing the healing and that you are the one in control.”

Francine Shapiro, PhD, creator of EMDR therapy

woman holding herself, upset.  she has suffered a trauma.
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

How does it work?

In a nutshell, it transforms disturbing and traumatic events into empowering ones. EMDR harnesses the innate power of your brain to change your automatic response (at a biological level) to a past traumatic event or current triggers.  Your therapist establishes a safe environment in which you can  recall aspects of the trauma while following her hand movements. Some therapists use bilateral tones or tapping instead of eye movements.  

Processing the trauma in this way shifts your feelings around it from powerlessness, disgust or other emotions that cause you great distress into ones that are empowering.  For example ,a childhood sexual abuse survivor may shift from feeling that she is “dirty” to feeling she is strong and brave to have survived the abuse. 

EMDR does not erase the event or your memories.  It changes how you process them.  

What can I expect at my EMDR visits?

EMDR occurs over 8 phases.

Initially, your therapist will do a thorough evaluation to ensure this is the right treatment for you.  

Although EMDR is highly effective, it is not a good fit for everyone.   Then she will teach you coping skills to deal with emotional states that may arise during treatment.  It is important to have a solid foundation in order to maintain stability between sessions.  Phases 3-6 involve identifying distressing memories, maladaptive beliefs formed from these events, and any related feelings- either physical or emotional.  Conclusion and evaluation are done in the last 2 phases. 

I don’t have PTSD?  Would it still be good for me?

Yes! EMDR has been shown to be effective for people with traumatic memories whether you meet the full criteria for PTSD or not. 

How many visits will I need?

This really depends on your case and cannot be determined until treatment is started.  Even then, it is subject to change.  You will need an evaluation and preliminary appointment to master coping techniques.  After that, studies show on average 6-12 sessions are effective. 

Have people studied EMDR?

There are over 30 research studies showing the effectiveness of EMDR for  traumatic events and PTSD. It is used by the Department of Defense to treat combat veterans, agencies that help victims of domestic violence, the American Psychiatric Association, and endorsed by the American Red Cross for natural disaster survivors, amongst others. 

woman sitting and smiling. This is to symbolize having EMDR treatment for her trauma and feeling better.
Photo by Guilherme Almeida on Pexels.com

Who and When was it developed?

EMDR was developed by a psychologist named  Francine Shapiro in 1989. 

How can I get EMDR treatment?

Call or email us today

Heather Lindh-Payne offers EMDR treatment at Nurtured  Well, LLC.  If you think you could benefit from this well studied, highly effective treatment, email Jen now to schedule! Stop suffering, start living. 

Information from https://www.emdr.com/

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