All you need to know about EMDR therapy
EMDR…Have you heard that acronym yet? Maybe a friend is using it with their therapist. Or maybe you have seen TV show therapists (Ever watch Grey’s Anatomy or Criminal Minds?!) talk about its use and perform EMDR – don’t forget, what you see on TV rarely is done in reality! For professionals in the counseling world, this tool is even more intriguing as our understanding of how neuroscience and psychology intersect and continues to become more comprehensive. Have I peaked your curiosity yet? Read on to learn more and see if EMDR could be for you.
Can EMDR help with my symptoms?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapy tool developed in the last 30 years by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D. EMDR has quickly become the preferred treatment approach for individuals struggling with emotional health symptoms that stem from traumatic life events, and those who are diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. You need to have this diagnosis to benefit from EMDR however. The term ‘trauma’ is used, and there is a misunderstanding that has to mean something exceedingly terrible. We all experience life uniquely and a traumatic impact is something to be personally defined by the individual’s experience. What makes EMDR so beneficial for most individuals is that it focuses on the person’s individual experience, as this is how the brain assimilated that experience internally.
Because of this, EMDR is a exceptional tool for many issues beyond post traumatic symptoms. It has been used to support treatment of addictions, depressive disorders, anxiety and panic disorders, phobias, complex grief reactions, individuals with chronic physical health issues, and much more. EMDR can also be used in treating these same issues in children. All people can experience great gains from working with a therapist who uses EMDR!
Science behind EMDR
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an interactive psychotherapy technique. It is a very focused approach for treating trauma and other symptoms. EMDR reconnects the client in a safe and measured way to the images, self-thoughts, emotions, and body sensations associated with the trauma, and allows the natural healing powers of the brain to move toward adaptive resolution. It is based on the idea that traumatic experiences have overwhelmed the brain’s natural coping capacity, and that the healing process can be facilitated through eye movements, which your therapist will call bilateral stimulation. Bilateral stimulation helps the brain to reassimilate an understanding of those past events in the context of the present, safe environment of the therapist’s office (this is called dual awareness), simultaneously allowing the strengths the client now possesses to help support the mind’s understanding of the current stance of the self.
EMDR is often used in conjunction with typical talk therapy modalities, and so you will still have an opportunity to develop a relationship and explore additional aspects of your life as needed.
How will I benefit from EMDR?
Can this help me? Absolutely! EMDR has been the most studied psychological treatment tool in the last 30 years. Study after study show the majority of people who initially present with symptoms of depression or anxiety, PTSD symptoms, and dissociative issues all demonstrate improvement through their work using EMDR. For a comprehensive list of clinical trials and meta analysis studies on the efficacy of EMDR, follow this link. https://www.emdr.com/research-overview/
The length of time for an individual to experience positive results depends on the presenting issue and the complexity of the trauma. We can adapt treatment focus if it is necessary for you to keep your services brief, but for complex trauma issues this is not advisable and you may want to engage into a different therapeutic modality. It would be important for you to address this issue with your therapist. EMDR can still be used within the standard clinical hour.
Who can provide EMDR therapy?
Now that you know more, you might be intrigued enough to want to explore EMDR further with a therapist. Ensuring you are matching yourself with a therapist who has the training and experience in correctly using this modality is important. Here are a few things that you can ask to fully understand your therapist’s competence in providing EMDR therapy:
–What organization sponsored your training in EMDR?
*Those who received their education from EMDRIA have been taught comprehensively in how to use the EMDR protocol
–Are you certified in EMDR?
*Certified EMDR therapists have spent additional supervision hours post initial training under the consultation with a Certified Consultant to enhance their knowledge and skill base.
-How often and when do you use EMDR in your clinical practice?
*This will help you to inform you of their experience and application in using EMDR with clients.
There is much information to absorb here. Do you want to learn more? Take a moment and watch https://youtu.be/Pkfln-ZtWeY youtube video created by EMDRIA for additional information. Miracles Counseling Centers has therapists who are trained in EMDR and would be happy to help you in your journey towards wellness. We have multiple clinicians trained in this excellent treatment approach. Please visit our clinician’s page to find a provider that can serve you!Learn More