June 5, 2023
How EMDR Therapy Can Help You Heal from Trauma
Written by Guest Author
When it comes to healing from trauma, there are several approaches to therapy that can be effective.
One such approach is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.
EMDR therapy is a relatively new therapy that has been gaining popularity for its ability to help individuals process and heal from traumatic events.
In this blog post, we will explore what EMDR therapy is, how it works, and the benefits it can provide.
What is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR therapy was developed in the late 1980s by psychologist Francine Shapiro.
The therapy involves focusing on traumatic memories while engaging in bilateral eye movements, sounds, or taps.
The goal is to help the individual process the traumatic event in a new way, so that it no longer has the same power over them.
EMDR therapy is a structured therapy that typically involves 8 phases.
- Phase 1 involves taking a detailed history and developing a treatment plan.
- Phase 2 involves preparing the individual for the therapy.
- Phases 3-6 involve processing the traumatic memories using bilateral stimulation.
- Phase 7 involves closure.
- Phase 8 involves reevaluation.
Why is it Effective for Trauma?
EMDR therapy has been shown to be effective for individuals who have experienced trauma.
The therapy works by allowing the brain to process the traumatic event in a new way, which can help to reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) such as:
- flashbacks, and
- intrusive memories.
One of the reasons EMDR therapy is effective is because it focuses on the underlying emotions and beliefs associated with the traumatic event.
Through the use of bilateral stimulation, the individual is able to process the traumatic event in a new way, which can help to shift their beliefs and emotions surrounding the event.
Before we can fully understand how EMDR therapy works, it’s important to first understand what trauma is and how it impacts the brain and body.
Trauma is a subjective experience that can occur when an individual feels overwhelmed by an event or situation.
Trauma can be caused by a wide range of experiences, including physical abuse, sexual assault, natural disasters, infertility, loss, car accidents, natural disasters, and war.
Trauma can be caused by something you experience or something you witness.
When an individual experiences trauma, it can impact the brain and body in several ways.
The brain’s response to trauma can cause changes in the way an individual processes information, which can lead to symptoms such as:
- depression, and
The EMDR Process
The EMDR therapy process is broken down into 8 phases. These phases are:
History and Treatment Planning
In Phase 1, the therapist will take a detailed history of the individual’s trauma and develop a treatment plan.
Phase 2, the preparation phase, involves preparing the individual for the therapy and ensuring that they have the necessary coping skills to handle any emotions that may arise during the therapy.
Phases 3-6 involve processing the traumatic memories using bilateral stimulation. During this phase, the individual will focus on the traumatic memory while engaging in bilateral eye movements, sounds, or taps.
Phase 7, the closure phase, involves ensuring that the individual feels safe and supported at the end of each session.
Phase 8, the reevaluation phase, involves assessing the progress that has been made and identifying any remaining issues that need to be addressed.
Benefits of EMDR Therapy
There are several benefits to EMDR therapy, including:
- Less intrusive memories and flashbacks
- Improved mood and emotional regulation
- Better sleep
- Less avoidance and anxiety
- Improved self-esteem
EMDR therapy has been shown to be effective for individuals with PTSD, as well as those with other trauma-related disorders.
Additionally, EMDR therapy can be effective for individuals with anxiety and depression.
Who Can Benefit from EMDR Therapy?
EMDR therapy can be beneficial for a wide range of individuals who have experienced trauma.
This includes individuals who have experienced physical or sexual abuse, those who have experienced natural disasters or war, and those who have experienced other traumatic events.
EMDR therapy can be a highly effective treatment for trauma.
It allows individuals to process traumatic events in a new way, which can help to reduce symptoms of PTSD and other trauma-related disorders.
If you or someone you know has experienced trauma, consider exploring EMDR therapy as a potential option for healing and recovery.
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