What Is EMDR?
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a well-researched and highly effective psychotherapeutic technique that processes disturbing experiences and memories that contribute to issues such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, phobias, panic attacks, and self-defeating beliefs and behaviors. An aspect of EMDR called Resourcing is also helpful for increasing feelings and experiences of well-being.
How Does EMDR Work?
We start treatment in the assessment phase by taking a thorough life history. Through this process, you and I will identify a specific symptom or problem you want to resolve. We work with experiences and memories related to these problems and symptoms. Once we start processing the memory, you will hold in your mind the image of the experience, related body sensations, feelings and emotions, and your beliefs about the situation. At that point, we start the bilateral stimulation of the brain by using alternating left-right tapping or eye movements. This process continues until the memory is no longer disturbing and symptoms subside. Through the process, thoughts and beliefs about the experience often change. Feelings and physical sensations are processed and clients no longer feel disturbed by the memory.
How Long Does Treatment Take?
Treatment length depends on what issue you want to work on, what is currently happening in your life, and the amount of previous trauma you have had. Sometimes treatment can be a few sessions to resolve symptoms from a single-incident trauma. In other cases, long-term treatment is necessary to resolve symptoms and process the trauma.
Is EMDR The Same For Children As Adults?
EMDR has the same effect on children as it does on adults, but it can look slightly different. Depending on the situation, I may see the child alone or with a parent. Children often respond quickly and positively to EMDR treatment. For older children, the process may look very similar to an adult’s. For younger children I may use EMDR in conjunction with Play Therapy, using toys and play to help with the process.
An introduction to EMDR Therapy
To learn more about EMDR visit www.emdria.org