EMDR Therapy: What It Is & How It Can Help?
EMDR Therapy, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, is a type of evidence-based psychotherapy. It was originally developed in the 1980s by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D. This form of psychotherapy is sometimes used to resolve trauma symptoms by employing specific eye movements while processing the traumatic event(s). In addition to eye movements, EMDR therapy practitioners may utilize several different methods of bilateral stimulation. Such as sound, tapping (in which hands, arms, and/or thighs are lightly tapped to activate the sense of touch on each side of the body), or holding onto a pulsing device.
What is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR therapy is based on the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model, a theory based on how the brain stores memory. Every memory has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Sometimes, however, when a traumatic event occurs, the brain does not fully process the incident, and the memory gets “stuck.” EMDR stimulation assists in allowing these emotionally disturbing memories to become fully processed. The modality is a valuable aid to those who find it difficult to verbalize trauma they have experienced. Or where traditional talk therapy alone has fallen short in the past.
Is It Hypnosis? Does It Only Help With Traumatic Events?
Consisting of eight phases, EMDR is a structured therapy, specific to an individual’s nature, history, and life event(s). In addition to assisting in the resolution of trauma, it has been shown to effectively treat symptoms of depression, anxiety, complex PTSD, addictions, and eating disorders. For many, EMDR therapy provides a means to heal trauma that has not been available in the past. It is not hypnosis. The individual is in complete control during sessions and may stop at any time. One need not communicate their painful story in order to heal from the trauma. The EMDR therapist is simply a facilitator to help guide the process as the brain moves through the trauma. Allowing the brain to release it so effective healing may begin.
Individuals considering EMDR therapy must be sufficiently able to process their thoughts and feelings. If a person is easily overwhelmed by emotion and/or inclined to shut down when strong emotions arise, it may be necessary to first learn strategies to cope before proceeding with the process. A skilled EMDR therapist can assist in this process.
What Does An EMDR Therapy Session Look Like?
Now that you have a basic understanding of EMDR, you may be wondering exactly what happens during a session. During an EMDR therapy session, a therapist guides his or her client through sets of bilateral stimulation, as described above, while working through:
- specific memories
- negative thoughts
After each set, the EMDR therapist will prompt the individual to notice any thoughts or feelings that arise. Then they will apply another set of bilateral stimulation, repeating the process until the memory has been fully processed. While EMDR therapy does not eradicate a memory, many individuals report feeling calmer after a session. Through eye movement desensitization and reprocessing the memory lost its powerful emotional charge once completely processed, releasing the distress it once held.
The proven effectiveness of EMDR therapy to process traumatic memories and other psychological conditions has been widely discussed and celebrated for over forty years. Those longing for relief from the grip of unresolved trauma and suffering are encouraged to take a deeper look into EMDR and discuss it with their therapist or another mental health professional.
Interested in Starting EMDR Therapy in Orlando, FL?
If you are suffering from trauma, anxiety, depression, or something else after a specific event then we can help you at our Winter Park, FL-based counseling practice or through online therapy in Florida. We will guide you through healing your traumatic memories so you can finally move past them. While it can be overwhelming to take the first steps in addressing these kinds of memories you will be in control the whole time. And our EMDR therapists will ensure you have the right coping strategies before going through the EMDR process. Get started by following these steps:
- Reach out to speak with a member of The Mindful Practice team.
- Schedule your first appointment with an EMDR therapist in Orlando
- Start healing and feeling better
Other Counseling Services At The Mindful Practice in Winter Park, FL
Our caring Orlando therapists at The Mindful Practice we offer several other mental health services alongside EMDR therapy. Such as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, trauma therapy, and PTSD treatment. Along with treatment for anxiety, depression, and social anxiety disorder. In addition to, bariatric surgery counseling, life transitions therapy, grief counseling, and therapy for teens.