Randy For Congress

If you don’t Vote
you lose the right to complain

How EMDR Works

EMDR is an empirically supported psychotherapy that appears to directly target the way a distressing memory is stored in the brain. The theory is that when a traumatic event happens, strong emotions prevent you from processing all aspects of the experience so it stays “frozen in time” with its images, smells, sounds and physical sensations, which can cause your body to respond as if the trauma is occurring again. Over time, these unprocessed memories can interfere with your daily functioning and change how you see yourself and the world around you. EMDR is thought to help you “unfreeze” these traumatic memories and resolve them, thereby helping you function better in the world and in relationships with others.

At your first EMDR session, the therapist will assess you, taking a detailed history and asking questions about your current symptoms. The therapist will also determine whether EMDR is a good treatment option for you. If the therapist feels that EMDR is a good fit for you, he or she will develop a treatment plan based on your specific goals.

Your EMDR treatment will typically include several sessions, with each session lasting an hour or so. The therapist will first prepare you to relive some of the disturbing memories and feelings that will come up during therapy. This includes teaching you techniques for emotional regulation and self-calming, and discussing the EMDR process so you know what to expect.

After this preparation, your therapist will ask you to identify a target image—one that best represents the disturbing event that you want to reprocess. Your therapist may also ask you to locate areas in your body where you feel physical sensations when thinking about the target memory.

For the next few sessions, your therapist will guide you through a series of rapid eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation such as alternating sounds or tactile stimulation) while you recall the target image and its associated emotions and body sensations. Your therapist will also ask you to monitor your progress between sessions, including how the emotions and memories change over time.

The therapist’s rationale is that the eye movement breaks up the negative pattern of thoughts, emotions and body sensations caused by the traumatic event, allowing you to think about the trauma in more objective terms. Another view is that eye movements activate the innate investigatory reflex, which inhibits fear and allows exploration, and that this causes a similar effect to REM sleep on memory.

Other evidence supports the effectiveness of EMDR, and it is used to treat a wide range of mental health conditions. These include PTSD, anxiety disorders such as panic and phobias, depression, dissociative disorders, eating disorders, and obsessive-compulsive and related disorders.

EMDR is a safe and effective treatment for trauma. However, like all psychological treatments, it has limitations. It is important to work with a qualified therapist who is trained in the technique and has experience treating trauma patients. Research is ongoing, but a growing number of studies are demonstrating the effectiveness of EMDR for the treatment of trauma and other mental health problems.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *