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EMDR - Healing Trauma

Trauma can leave a lasting impact on our lives. Disturbing memories, negative beliefs, and emotional distress can linger long after the event itself. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy offers a powerful tool for healing from these experiences.

What is EMDR?

EMDR is a psychotherapy technique that helps individuals process and heal from trauma. It utilizes bilateral stimulation, which can involve eye movements, tapping, or auditory tones, while focusing on the traumatic memory. This bilateral stimulation is thought to activate the brain's natural information processing system, allowing it to reprocess the memory and lessen its emotional hold.

How Does EMDR Work?

EMDR therapy follows a structured eight-phase approach. Here's a simplified breakdown:

  1. History Taking: The therapist gathers information about your history, including the traumatic experience and its impact on your life.

  2. Preparation: You'll learn about EMDR and coping skills to manage any discomfort that may arise during the session.

  3. Assessment: You'll identify specific aspects of the memory to target, such as the disturbing image, negative belief, or physical sensation.

  4. Desensitization: You'll focus on the memory while engaging in bilateral stimulation. The therapist will guide you through this process, and you'll report any shifts in your thoughts, feelings, or body sensations.

  5. Installation: You'll identify a positive belief to replace the negative one associated with the memory.

  6. Body Scan: You'll check for any lingering physical tension related to the memory.

  7. Closure: The therapist will help you integrate the work done in the session and prepare you for the next session.

  8. Reevaluation: At the beginning of each subsequent session, you'll reassess the memory and see how it has been processed.

What Can EMDR Help With?

EMDR is widely recognized for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, research suggests it can be effective for a range of conditions, including:

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Phobias

  • Panic attacks

  • Addictions

  • Pain management

  • Physical and sexual abuse and assault

Benefits of EMDR

EMDR offers several advantages over traditional talk therapy:

  • Faster Relief: Studies show that EMDR can be effective in fewer sessions compared to other therapies.

  • Reduced Emotional Distress: EMDR focuses on processing the memory rather than dwelling on its details, leading to less emotional upheaval during therapy.

  • Empowerment: EMDR helps individuals develop coping mechanisms and positive self-beliefs.

Is EMDR Right for You?

If you're struggling with the effects of trauma, EMDR could be a valuable tool in your healing journey. Here are some signs it might be a good fit:

  • You have a disturbing memory that continues to bother you.

  • You experience negative thoughts or beliefs about yourself related to a past event.

  • You avoid situations that remind you of the trauma.

EMDR isn’t for everyone but it can be a very effective and also more rapid approach to healing from trauma.  If you would like to discuss if it’s the right approach for you please feel free to contact me via my website and we can have a conversation over the phone or e-mail.

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