Trauma is a very real thing, and the effects of it can be devastating. If you have experienced trauma—whether it's sexual assault, domestic violence, or something else—you might suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I've found that one of the best ways to heal from trauma is through eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. EMDR has helped me process my traumatic memories and move forward with my life. However, I know that EMDR isn't for everyone; it's a deeply personal decision that everyone has to make on their own terms. So if you're wondering whether this type of therapy could work for you, here's everything you need to know about it:
EMDR stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing.
EMDR stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. It is a type of therapy that can be very helpful for people dealing with traumatic memories. How EMDR works is by having the client recall their trauma while simultaneously focusing on something else, like a small hand movement or moving the eyes back and forth in a specific pattern (for example, left to right). The theory behind this is that during traumatic events we tend to freeze up and not process all of our emotions properly; by using these techniques we're essentially tricking your brain into being more calm so it can process everything properly. This differs from traditional talk therapy because instead of just exploring your feelings with someone else you are actually experiencing them through the use of different methods such as eye movements or tapping on certain parts of your body.
The fundamental idea behind EMDR therapy is that psychological trauma causes blockages in our brains.
The fundamental idea behind EMDR therapy is that psychological trauma causes blockages in our brains. The goal of this therapy is to help you process the trauma and move past it.
The therapist will use a series of eye movements or sounds to guide your brain through the process of reprocessing the experience, which can take anywhere from 4-15 sessions depending on the person and their needs.
EMDR is different from traditional talk therapy in that it doesn't involve exploring your past the way you might do in a standard therapy appointment.
Unlike traditional talk therapy, EMDR doesn't focus on exploring your past. Instead, it treats the symptoms you experience in the present. This can be comforting if you're not ready to confront painful memories—or maybe even if you are.
In a typical session of EMDR therapy, the therapist will move their fingers back and forth while asking you to focus on an upsetting or traumatic memory. The idea is that these eye movements help "reset" your brain and process those memories differently.
As with any type of therapy in which physical touch is involved (think: massage or acupuncture), there's always a chance that clients may feel uncomfortable with such close contact from their therapists when processing emotions related to their traumas. However, for many people with PTSD-related trauma who have tried other therapies without success, EMDR has proved extremely effective in helping them manage their symptoms more effectively
It's not clear why eye movements help reduce people's symptoms, but clinical studies have shown that they do.
There's no one reason why eye movements help reduce people's symptoms, but clinical studies show that they do. One theory is that the brain is able to process the memory in a different way, another is that it processes the memory more effectively, and another suggests it processes the memory more quickly. Another interesting theory is that when you're recalling a traumatic memory, your vision becomes blurred and blurry eyesight resembles what would happen if you were dazed after an accident or altercation. The brain might then process this as "I'm not supposed to remember this."
EMDR is considered a first-line treatment for PTSD.
You may have heard of EMDR therapy before, but many people are still confused about what it actually is and whether or not it’s right for them. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, and it’s also sometimes referred to as “eye movement desensitization reprocessing therapy.” It’s a type of psychotherapy that uses special eye movements and other stimuli (like sounds) to help clients process past traumatic experiences that may be affecting their present lives in unhealthy ways.
EMDR is considered a first-line treatment for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), however, the technique has been shown to be helpful in treating anxiety disorders like panic attacks, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and more.
How long EMDR lasts depends on how much trauma you're dealing with; it might be as short as one session or could last several months.
How long EMDR therapy lasts depends on how much trauma you're dealing with; it might be as short as one session or could last several months. If you've had a traumatic experience, the length of EMDR treatment will depend on the person who's providing it and his or her goals for treating your condition. In many cases, however, clients may need to continue receiving treatment for their problems even after they've completed their initial sessions; some have found that they still benefit from continuing sessions long after completing their initial course of treatment.
Some therapists offer "booster" sessions during the time after an individual has completed the eight phases of traditional EMDR therapy—these booster sessions are meant to help individuals integrate any lessons they learned in previous EMDR sessions into their everyday lives so that they can make lasting changes in response to past trauma (Finucane & Espiñeira-Zamorano 2016).
But just because someone has experienced trauma doesn't mean they need to do EMDR therapy to heal from it.
But just because someone has experienced trauma doesn't mean they need to do EMDR therapy to heal from it. EMDR is not a replacement for traditional talk therapy, nor does it replace medication. It can be used in conjunction with other therapies and treatments.
EMDR can be very helpful for people dealing with traumatic memories, but it's important to remember that it's not a quick fix. In fact, most people don't see results after one session—it may take several sessions before you start seeing any real difference in your symptoms or overall well-being.
EMDR is a type of therapy that can be very helpful for people dealing with traumatic memories, but it isn't for everyone.
EMDR is a type of therapy that can be very helpful for people dealing with traumatic memories, but it isn't for everyone. EMDR is different from traditional talk therapy in that it doesn't involve exploring your past the way you might do in a standard therapy appointment. Instead, the therapist will ask you to focus on certain parts of your traumatic memory and then use eye movements and other techniques to try to calm down those associated emotions. This may sound strange at first, but many people find this process really helps them move past whatever caused their trauma in the first place and begin healing from it.
It's important to remember that EMDR is not an all-inclusive treatment—it won't work for everyone who experiences trauma or severe depression or anxiety. That said, it can be an excellent option for those who have found traditional talk therapies ineffective or don't want to spend years exploring their personal history through therapy sessions."
The process of trauma recovery is a journey, and EMDR can be a powerful tool to help you on that path. But it might not be for everyone, and there are certainly plenty of other ways to address trauma. The good news is that these methods are now widely available; we're no longer in the dark ages where people had few options for getting help after experiencing trauma. So if this treatment interests you or someone you know, take heart: we’ve come a long way in recent years. While there are still many things to learn about how our brains work, researchers will continue making progress as they fill in the gaps of our knowledge—and more tools like EMDR will become available as a result.