Fast results with Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing
EMDR - What is it?
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a type of psychotherapy that enables people to heal quickly from troubling events or distress.
This could mean symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences in childhood or adulthood.
Repeated studies show that by receiving EMDR therapy, people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference.
It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal.
This is no longer true!
EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma as much as the body recovers from physical trauma.
EMDR therapy involves a process in the brain that responds to eye movement. When moving the eyes left to right, over and over, while thinking about the troubling issue, the brain amazingly re-processes the problem to where there can be neutrality and healing.
EMDR - what are session like?
There are eight steps involved EMDR. Although some clients can see results very quickly, EMDR typically involves numerous sessions to assess the situation.
This involves history taking and assessment before the eyemovement intervention (called “desensitization”) can be conducted. If the client is a fit, then steps 4-8 (above) can go forth.
Online EMDR can be done in several ways. It can be done using EMDR software that pairs with your online therapy platform like Zoom or Jane. It can be done by looking at a light move side to side across your screen while your therapist supports you in reprocessing the event. The therapist can also simply move their hand side to side as you follow the movement with your eyes. You can even put a post-it note on each side of your laptop and allow your eyes to move back and forth between the two.
Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes. (EMDR Institute Inc., 2022).
EMDR - Let's get technical.
How does it work?
You may have experienced something distressing, like a threat you were not prepared to handle or something that threatened your sense of safety. The mind tries to resolve or reconcile it by automatically reviewing everything seen, heard, tasted, touched, smelled, or experienced in any way. This is the way your body and mind work to identify what is dangerous so that we can determine how to protect ourselves or others.
If you noticed you keep re-experiencing or reviewing the same thing over and over again in your mind, that is what is happening. Although it is completely normal within the context of the human brain, it’s not optimal. . . and that’s why you’re here. And that’s why we’re here – EMDR is a revolutionary method to relieve you from this suffering.
When you can’t focus on the incident right away, the right hemisphere of our brain is made to hold all of the sensory information until we have time to review it later. When we do review the incident, the mind gives it full attention, or learning cannot happen from the experience. When we are young our right hemisphere will hold on to information until we can sort out our experiences and determine what is important to remember for the future.
If we gather too many traumatic experiences, it becomes too much for the right hemisphere brain to hold on to. When this occurs, we continue to feel upset. If we continue to not be able to give our full attention to the experience, we are unable to process it. This is how EMDR can be helpful, in allowing intentional time to be set aside to use bilateral brain stimulation (such as moving our eyes side to side). This helps connect both sides of the brain hemispheres of our brain to help process the traumatic experience fully.
EMDR - Why is it so effective?
EMDR was developed in 1987, and there has been much research on the method ever since. It’s only become more mainstream as a therapy approach in recent years and has taken off as a leading method of clearing PTSD and many other issues.
Here is why EMDR is so effective. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound and repair the skin. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing can resume.
In the same way, EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with psychological processes. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental wellness.
If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound can fester and can cause intense suffering or ongoing problems. Once the block is removed, healing can resume.