What’s EMDR Therapy and How Can It Help?

What is EMDR? 

EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is an evidence-based treatment for processing trauma. It involves discussing your traumatic experience(s) while experiencing bilateral stimulation through the guidance of your provider. EMDR incorporates various therapeutic approaches, including cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and body-centered therapy.

How does it work? 

Have you ever been looking out the window in a car, watching the sights go by? It can almost feel like a trance-like state, temporarily zoning out from the world. This is similar to how bilateral stimulation (moving your eyes from side to side, using tapping techniques, or auditory cues) in EMDR works. It integrates both sides of the brain, incorporating the logical and emotional components. This can help to reduce your emotional reaction to trauma. Once you’ve become more desensitized to the trigger(s), you’re guided through reprocessing your memory, releasing limiting beliefs about yourself and the world around you.

Is EMDR only for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)? 

EMDR is mainly used for clients with past trauma that is affecting them in the present. However, it can also be helpful for panic attacks, complicated grief, dissociation & dissociative disorders, eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorders, phobias, pain disorders, performance anxiety, substance abuse & addictions, personality disorders, and stress reduction.

Why EMDR? 

  • EMDR has been proven to be highly effective in reducing distress associated with trauma.  
  • It’s a relatively short-term treatment, lasting about 6-12 sessions (the length will differ for each client).  
  • It’s a safe way to be able to re-experience a traumatic memory and create a new, more redemptive ending to your experience. Getting to a place where you can feel more neutral about your trauma can help you move forward and focus on living the life you want.

To learn more about Mindfully’s EMDR offerings and/or speak with a mental health professional to see if EMDR is right for you, click here 

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