stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. EMDR was created by Dr. Francine Shapiro in 1987. EMDR is known to be effective for many individuals who are experiencing PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks, bullying in school years,
physical abuse, violence, alcoholism, drug addiction, and more.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing can also be effective when working with couples who are struggling with infidelity. EMDR is a very useful technique, and some studies show that people get over their PTSD after just a few sessions of EMDR.
All of us tend to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, depressed, and anxious because of multiple reasons including someone’s lifestyle, challenging relationships, a stressful job, or some traumatic event. Our brain fails to reply to some traumatic incidents that upset us. We then become numb, depressed, and unable to function normally. This inability of the brain to process a distressing event and move on instead of reliving it leads to making you a victim of PTSD.
EMDR THERAPY IN ORLANDO
How does it work?
I use bilateral eye stimulation with my clients to process their past traumas. The client will be encouraged to speak about the emotions they are experiencing. It is a safe way to work on the client’s trauma and to process their painful events that were hidden for probably months or years. This practice of eye movement can assist clients in reducing the intensity of the emotions they normally experience because of that memory. Their sensitivity towards that memory lessens.
An EMDR therapist will help you identify the negative perception from the traumatic memory, further as any positive beliefs or feelings you may have about your triggering event. Some negative thoughts can be: “I’m not safe, I’m not in control”.
Clients will be able to identify the core issue and dissociate from the unhealthy feelings. Once clients come up with a positive belief about their trauma by eliminating the painful memory, clients will start feeling empowered again. Clients will be able to feel that they are in control and safe in the EMDR sessions.
EMDR and the 8 stages:
- History taking and setting a treatment action plan: Your therapist in this first phase will ask about your trauma, its repercussions on you, and the symptoms you experience empathetically. After this, he or she will be able to lay out a treatment plan for you.
- Getting familiar with the process: Your therapist will be guiding you through the treatment plan. He or she will tell you what EMDR is and what you should be expecting during the treatment. This phase is very important as it really helps you connect with your therapist and get comfortable in talking about your distress.
- This phase helps you reach the traumatic point or memory and therefore the negative beliefs that include it.
- Desensitization: This is where the bilateral eye movement technique will be used by your practitioner. Repeated practice of this technique will yield promising results.
- In this phase, your therapist will help you redirect your thinking and get in control of that painful memory. You will be able to change your viewpoint and bring in a positive viewpoint.
- Assessing the physical signs: Here, you would be able to compare your physical symptoms of strain and stress with the time when you had not started the treatment. You will assess if your body still gets that stiff as it used to before getting EMDR. This comparison will help you see how far you have come.
- Closure: At this point, the therapist will bring closure to the session and share with you all the details of the upcoming session.
- Reevaluation: This happens as a follow-up in every session to be assured of your progress and improvement.
How EMDR helped me?
EMDR helped me in my personal life, and I experienced relief going through a traumatic experience that I had growing up. When I was 5 years old, my parents got divorced and I felt responsible for their divorce for many years. It was the trauma of my life. I was able to work with an EMDR therapist who guided me step by step in this process. I was encouraged to go back to my traumatic experience and express the negative belief I had about myself regarding the trauma. Then, I was challenged to think about positive thoughts that I wished I had about myself instead. The EMDR therapist did bilateral stimulation (BLS)that were basically eye movements from left to right. Then, I started to feel better and calmer. My anxiety decreased and after a few EMDR sessions, I was able to look at the memory with less emotional stress.
As mentioned earlier, clients who are dealing with marital problems, such as infidelity can benefit from EMDR therapy as well. The partner who was betrayed had suffered PTSD and maybe experiencing flashbacks, nightmares, or intrusive thoughts that can affect the couple’s relationship. The past memory becomes a present moment. An EMDR therapist will perform eye movements from left to right and the client’s brain will do all the work. It is possible to process traumatic memories and heal.
We all know that our bodies have amazing healing power to recover from injuries. Our minds are just as powerful in healing from psychological trauma. EMDR could be great therapy for helping this healing process.
How successful is EMDR?
There is no denying the fact that EMDR is one of the most successful therapies that can help heal trauma and PTSD. According to a 2012 study of 22 participants, EMDR therapy was found to be effective in treating 77 percent of those suffering from a psychotic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Another research with 24 trials done randomly supports the effectiveness of EMDR in treating emotional trauma or PTSD. Additionally, some studies show that people get over their PTSD after just a few sessions of EMDR. So, the success rate of EMDR is high and researchers look up to it as a very effective strategy.
How long does the session last?
It is important that clients feel comfortable with a therapist. There must be a rapport has met between the clinician and the client prior to starting EMDR therapy. An EMDR session can last between 60-90 minutes.
Clients are encouraged to pause or take a break if they need to during the process. EMDR is a wonderful interactive technique can help anyone facing PTSD. Also depression and anxiety. I have had clients that were surprised at how they felt at the end of their session compared to the beginning. Some of them mentioned that their emotional disturbance regarding their traumatic memory decreased tremendously.