What is EMDR Therapy and How Does it Work?
People facing trauma can find it very hard to overcome the memories, feelings and thoughts which plague their mind daily. Whether trauma was recent or decades ago, it can affect every person differently, and limit their quality of life.
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an interactive psychotherapy technique used to relieve psychological stress. It is an extremely successful treatment for people facing trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
But how exactly do EMDR therapy sessions work to help you overcome your trauma? If you face poor mental health due to trauma, understanding what EMDR is and how it can help you is the first step towards seeking the support you deserve.
How Does EMDR Work?
During EMDR therapy sessions, your therapist will help you relive moments of trauma or triggering experiences, in short, manageable doses while directing your eye movements. This is thought to be effective because recalling distressing events is less emotionally upsetting and psychologically damaging when your attention is diverted. By using this technique, recalling the traumatic events and working through their impact on your mental health lessens the impact these memories or thoughts have on your mental state.
EMDR therapy typically works through eight phases across several sessions, however, the exact treatment plan will be unique for each individual. Firstly, the therapist will help you review your history and where you are in the treatment process. You will talk about your trauma and identify potential traumatic memories which you need to treat specifically. The therapist will then teach you different ways to cope with emotional and psychological stress, such as deep breathing and mindfulness.
The therapist will then move onto assessment to identify the specific traumatic memories they want to target. The next stage is treatment, where your therapist will then use EMDR therapy techniques. You will be asked to focus on a negative thought, memory or image while the therapist simultaneously directs you through specific eye movements. Your therapist will then lead you through more activities to identify emotions and thoughts associated with those memories. As you move through these memories, any distress should start to fade.
What are the Benefits of EMDR Therapy?
EMDR therapy is most beneficial for people dealing with traumatic memories or facing PTSD. It helps them find a way to talk about their past experiences without feeling overwhelmed. When we live with trauma, it can be difficult to face what we have experienced and overcome the emotions and thoughts it causes.
EMDR therapy allows you to recall and relive traumatic experiences, talk about their impact on your life and how it affects your mental health. This will enable you to work with your therapist to overcome these emotions and cope with your trauma. For many people, this can be an intimidating experience, but in fact, EMDR is the best way to address your trauma without feeling overcome with fear, grief or even misplaced guilt.
Therapists have also found EMDR useful when treating depression, anxiety, panic attacks, eating disorders and addictions. If you are interested in learning more about EMDR therapy and whether it is suitable for you, please contact me today.
As an experienced therapist with qualifications in EMDR therapy, I can support your mental health journey. I understand how trauma can overwhelm your life and cause you to live in sadness and fear. With my expertise and knowledge, I can ensure you are on the path to recovery and support you through every step. Take a look at my website to learn more about my services and how I can help you.