What is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is an individual therapy technique designed to treat patients by reprocessing a negative or distressing emotional response or traumatic memory, by using bilateral stimulation. EMDR is a specialized therapy that requires specific licensing and certifications. If you are interested in EMDR therapy, one of the certified therapists at be.Well can help.
How Does EMDR Work?
EMDR therapy works to dull or desensitize a negative or traumatic memory, by focusing on the memory or event itself. With the use of bilateral stimulation, a patient is able to reprocess a negative memory and install a positive or peaceful resolution, in place of the distressing one. EMDR is thought to work because the patient uses both sides of their brain, which allows the brain to change the way the negative memory or trauma is stored in the brain, thus breaking the cycle of the memory, so a patient can gain a sense of calm, acceptance, and safety.
What is Bilateral Stimulation?
Bilateral Stimulation (BLS) is any stimulus that occurs in an even paced side to side pattern. BLS can be visual, tactile, or auditory. For example, a visual bilateral stimulation can be a light moving from left to right and back again. Tactile BLS can be tapping rhythmically on one’s arm or chest, and auditory can be a repeated tone or sound.
BLS is the key feature in EMDR therapy, is safe, and can be effective in helping you reprocess negative, distressing, or traumatic memories.
Who Can Benefit From EMDR Therapy?
Originally developed to only treat Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD), EMDR is now used to treat adults and children suffering from many other disorders that include:
- Panic Disorders
- Eating Disorders
- Substance Abuse
- Persistent Worry
What To Expect During EMDR Therapy?
EMDR is broken down into 8 different phases. This structured approach allows the therapist to see the whole picture of your past, which more easily allows them to get to the root of your current symptoms, and gives you the tools you need to develop skills to cope with future stressors. The number of sessions varies for each individual but each session typically lasts anywhere from 60-90 mins.