What is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. You may be wondering what that really means. Simply put when this type of therapy was first developed by Francine Shapiro she started by having her patients move their eyes back and forth (eye movement) to activate both sides of the brain to facilitate reduced levels of anxiety (desensitization) and to allow the brain to process trauma more effectively (reprocessing). The idea is that EMDR allows the brain to heal itself by allowing the natural processing that would happen with everyday experiences. Currently, therapists are able to tap into this mechanism in a variety of ways to activate both sides of the brain (bilateral stimulation), such as having the patient tap their knees, holding sensors in both hands, or to follow lights on a light bar that is held by the therapist.
There are eight phases to EMDR. As part of these phases the therapist will be helping you to select a memory to target while engaging in the aforementioned bilateral stimulation to change your experience of this memory. You will be left with a new, more empowered experience of this memory.
Who is EMDR Therapy for?
EMDR Therapy is appropriate for children and adults. It can be utilized to address anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, mood disorders, dissociative disorders, and chronic health concerns, including chronic pain, as well as grief and loss.
EMDR is predominantly known for treating trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Often trauma survivors put off seeking trauma therapy because they are scared of having to relive every terrifying detail of their experience. This removes that need.
You may also be pleased to hear that EMDR does not also require you to do therapy homework in between sessions.
EMDR also tends to be effective with fewer sessions needed if you are worried about the amount of time it will take to experience relief. Typical amount of sessions needed is 12. However, research has shown that some no longer met the criteria for a PTSD diagnosis after only three sessions and for veterans they were showing similar results after 6 sessions. Of course, every person is unique and this time may vary based on your trauma.
How do I proceed if I want to start EMDR or want to talk to someone directly about what to expect with EMDR Therapy?
Please Text or Call Ascend Therapy at (331) 444-2342 to set up an appointment or a 15 minute free phone consultation. Our clinicians are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have to help you feel more comfortable. We are sensitive to the fact that this is an act of courage on your part to address your trauma and we are honored to be a part of your journey.