How does EMDR work?

As an EMDR therapist, I use a 2-step process that focuses on the mind-body connection. The connection between the emotional duress and the physical symptoms that the client is experiencing.

The treatment as defined through EMDR International Association, involves using bilateral stimulation, a process of using eye movements, auditory tones, or tapping/vibrations to stimulate both sides of the body. The bilateral stimulation allows the brain to efficiently, naturally, and safely process traumatic memories and disturbing life events using the brain’s natural information processing. Studies have tested specific hypotheses regarding the role of eye movements. It has been found that eye movements have a direct effect on emotional arousal, imagery vividness, attentional flexibility, retrieval, distancing, memory association There is no use of drugs or hypnosis and studies have shown it to be helpful for clients who have continued to struggle with symptoms, even after attempting other forms of treatment.

EMDR targets past experiences, current triggers, and future potential challenges. Many studies have shown that this process results in relief of presenting symptoms, reduction (or complete elimination) of distress from the disturbing memory, improved self-image, alleviation of physical symptoms, and resolution of both present and future-anticipated triggers.

EMDR Psychotherapy involves a non-invasive collaboration between the client and therapist. The therapeutic process remains specific to the needs, resources, diagnosis, and development of each individual. Therefore, I emphasize elements of EMDR differently depending on the unique needs of the particular client. EMDR treatment is not completed in any particular number of sessions, as each client’s life experiences and current needs are unique.

EMDR therapy can relieve symptoms that talk and cognitive therapies cannot address alone. Whether your goal is to repair the damage of trauma, develop relationship skills or enhance work or personal performance, EMDR therapy can help.

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