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EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing

Are you struggling with overwhelming emotions and recurring distressing memories brought about by a traumatic event? If so, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an increasingly popular treatment for people with various forms of trauma, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Trauma can be incredibly difficult to process, affecting both a person’s mental and physical wellbeing. EMDR is highly effective in relieving symptoms of PTSD, depression and anxiety in those who have experienced traumatic events. Through the use of bilateral stimulation, eye movements and other forms of stimulation, EMDR assists individuals in desensitizing trauma by aiding them to recall the past event while focusing on positive thoughts at the same time. EMDR works by using bilateral stimulation—such as side-to- side eye movements—to activate both the right and left sides of the brain to more efficiently reprocess fearful memories or emotions that have been locked in since the traumatic event occurred. By doing so, EMDR can help reduce pain associated with trauma while allowing people to better manage their own emotions.

While many are aware of the variety of traditional treatments available to help those struggling with trauma, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an innovative approach that has proven to be very effective for treating PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), depression, anxiety and other associated issues. EMDR is based upon the concept that traumatic experiences can leave a ‘stuck’ feeling in our mind, which prevents us from being able to process and deal with it effectively. The effectiveness of this technique lies in its ability to unlock the brain's natural healing process so that those who suffer from trauma related issues can find relief faster than with other forms of treatment. The process works by enabling the brain to remove the emotions connected with negative memories and replace them with positive feelings that actually help their mental health in the future.

The 8 healing phases of EMDR therapy consist of the Assessment Phase, Preparation Phase, Desensitization Phase, Installation Phase, Body Scan Phases, Closure Phases and Reevaluation phase. These phases are designed to assist individuals in healing from traumatic experiences by allowing them to process and integrate painful or difficult emotions.

Through this holistic approach, these 8 healing steps allow individuals to gain insight and understanding into their own experiences as well as heal from them. Therefore these 8 healing steps are an essential element of EMDR therapy and must be followed closely if desired outcomes are to be achieved, ensuring that the client's mind has undergone successful integration before being released from the treatment. This allows for further healing from any lingering symptoms associated with trauma or difficulty processing emotions. Understanding these phases can make the EMDR experience much smoother, both for clients and practitioners alike.

In other words, EMDR is based on the idea that our brains are capable of processing information better under certain situations than during times of high stress or tension. By following the 8 steps of the EMDR protocol, we can learn to respond rather than react to trauma triggers so we can work toward healing emotionally and mentally. These 8 phases allow us to address past hurts to successfully move forward and build a life that’s free from debilitating emotional responses to trauma triggers. At the end of the day the benefits from EMDR are potentially transforming. EMDR is said to be magical.

The list is endless, yet to name a few benefits:

  • Decreasing Symptoms of PTSD including, but not limited to, intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and avoidance behaviors.
  • Improves Mood alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety, commonly experienced by individuals who have experienced trauma.
  • Increases Self-Esteem assisting in a more positive sense of self and increased feelings of self-worth reportedly lost in experiences trauma.
  • Builds Emotional Resilience as increases coping skills to better manage stress and difficult emotions.
  • Improved Relationship by addressing any trauma-related issues that may be impeding their interactions with others, building greater trust, intimacy, and emotional connection in relationships.
  • Increased Capacity to Cope with Triggers, such as situations or stimuli that remind them of the traumatic event, reducing anxiety and allowing for better management of reactions to these triggers.

Who can benefit from EMDR? To be honest, most any client that is seeking help from symptom relief to resolving dissonance that repeats in their lives and no longer serves them. This can include individual with the following:

  • PTSD symptoms reducing such as, intrusive thoughts, nightmares, avoidance behaviors and more.
  • Anxiety decreased as nervous system is calmed down showing beneficial for individuals with anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Depression lifted, especially, despair related to past trauma or difficult life experiences.
  • Chronic Pain: reducing pain who have experienced trauma or other challenging life experiences.
  • Phobias and deeper fears, again attached to past and challenging life experiences.
  • Addiction related to trauma or difficult life experiences.

In summary, EMDR therapy is considered the magical therapeutic formula of helps individuals process and resolve disturbing experiences by utilizing bilateral stimulation to activate the brain's natural information processing system.

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