How can EMDR Help?
How Therapy Can Help
What is EMDR Trauma Therapy and How Can it Help?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an effective evidence-based psychotherapy technique proven to help people recover from trauma and PTSD symptoms.
EMDR asks the patient to briefly focus on the traumatic 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.
Ongoing research supports positive clinical outcomes showing EMDR therapy as a helpful treatment for disorders such as anxiety, depression, OCD, chronic pain, addictions, and other distressing life experiences.
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Who Does EMDR Trauma Therapy Treat?
EMDR Trauma Therapy helps children and adults of all ages.
Does EMDR Work?
In the late 1980s, Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., discovered a connection between eye movement and persistent upsetting memories. With this personal insight, she began what became a lifelong study and development of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.
Over the years, and in the face of initial skepticism, Dr. Shapiro’s work developed from a hypothesis to a formal therapy process. EMDR therapy has been demonstrated to be effective for treating trauma in randomized clinical trials, case studies, and millions of clinical hours treating trauma and trauma-related disorders across the globe. From the American Psychiatric Association, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USVA) and Department of Defense (USDOD), the United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health Care and Excellence (NICE), and the World Health Organization (WHO), multiple global organizations now recognize the effectiveness of EMDR therapy that Dr. Shapiro developed.
What is an EMDR Session like?
Beginning sessions will involve discussing what the client wants to work on and improving the client’s ability to manage distress.
When ready for the next phases of EMDR therapy, the client will be asked to focus on a specific event. Attention will be given to a negative image, belief, emotion, and body feeling related to this event, and then to a positive belief that would indicate the issue was resolved.
While the client focuses on the upsetting event, the therapist will begin sets of side-to-side eye movements, sounds, or taps. The client will be guided to notice what comes to mind after each set. They may experience shifts in insight or changes in images, feelings, or beliefs regarding the event.
The client has the option to stop the therapist at any point. The sets of eye movements, sounds, or taps are repeated until the event becomes less disturbing.
EMDR therapy may be used within a standard talking therapy, as an adjunctive therapy with a separate therapist, or as a treatment all by itself.
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