EMDR was originally developed to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans and first responders, but has since been found to be helpful for a variety of other mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, and phobias, as well as attachment ruptures and other relational concerns. This type of therapy can help people who have difficulty talking about trauma to process in a more effective way.
EMDR therapy is typically conducted in eight phases. The first phase is the history taking phase, where the therapist will gather information about your presenting problem as well as your history. The second phase is the preparation and resourcing phase, where the therapist will help you develop coping skills and self-care strategies to use during and after the EMDR therapy sessions. These skills are essential and far-reaching, and if you’re considering EMDR with a provider who does not spend any time on preparation and resourcing, proceed with caution.
The next five phases are the processing phases. During these phases, the therapist will guide you through a series of exercises while you focus on a particular memory or thought related to whatever is causing your distress or trauma. It’s okay if you don’t exactly know; the structure of EMDR therapy is designed to help you get clear about that. The final phase is the closure phase, where the therapist will help you develop a plan for continuing to process and work through any remaining distress related to your issue.
It’s important to know that EMDR therapy can feel intense. Trauma therapy involves mentally reliving painful and upsetting events. But with effective EMDR treatment, the negative physical and emotional impact of these events decreases and eventually disappears.
Most people are a good candidate for EMDR, though extra care should be taken for those who are pregnant, taking certain medications or recreational substances, have a history of seizures, or are highly dissociative.
If you are struggling with symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, depression, or a phobia, EMDR therapy may be a good treatment option for you. This type of therapy can help you process and resolve traumatic memories in a more effective way, which can lead to reductions in your symptoms. If you think that EMDR therapy could be helpful for you, schedule a free consultation to see if we can match you with one of our EMDR-trained therapists.
History: EMDR was developed in the 1980s by Dr. Francine Shapiro. Dr. Shapiro found that when she moved her eyes back and forth while thinking about an upsetting event, her symptoms of distress reduced significantly. Over time and after lots of careful, academic study, she formalized this approach into what is now known as EMDR therapy. Today, EMDR is practiced in many ways, including virtually. It doesn’t always involve eye movement anymore, either. Research has shown that various types of bilateral stimulation - meaning side-to-side movement - can be effective, including sound and touch/tapping.
Read more about EMDR here.
Leave a Reply.
Laurel Therapy Collective
offers online therapy to California residents for anxiety, transitions, and trauma.