Are you considering EMDR therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy)?

Are you considering EMDR therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy)?

Have you tried everything to address a trauma history, anxiety, loss, or other emotional disturbances?

EMDR is not a magic bullet for treating trauma but it can help you reorganize your somatic experiences to recurring symptoms that seep to affect your present negatively. Reprocessing memories – often not remembered – from your emotional/experiential past helps the brain to store that information in ways that are more adaptive.  In essence, it takes the charge out of difficult experiences so that calming resources and adaptive reasoning can be better accessed in the present. It has helped so many people find relief from stubborn physical and psychological symptoms associated with their past.

Many people see therapy as talking about the past or negative thoughts about yourself to find catharsis and relief from the pain they’ve kept to themselves. Talk therapy is much more vast than that but many models do use cognitive methods to resource people to create a more positive future through more optimistic cognitions. Many have been helped by this. But, if you have tried talk therapy that is primarily cognitive in nature and have found no relief, you may want to experiment with EMDR.

What to Expect with EMDR Treatment

The first couple of phases of EMDR start by gathering information on a client’s basic history, current resources, and present goals for their future.  That said, the actual process of accessing memories to address with the EMDR therapy does not begin until the first few phases of the work are complete.

The process of doing EMDR therapy can stir up some emotions that were experienced in the past; I like to make sure that clients are able to access good coping skills and supportive resources prior to beginning the work. I ask, “Do you have adequate coping skills, and are you open to learning new coping skills in the early phases of the therapy so you’ll have the best success with the EMDR?” If so, you’re ready to begin.

How do you prepare for EMDR?

Self-care before and after these sessions is vital and is a commitment not everyone has made who seeks therapeutic support for emotional challenges. Taking time each day to meditate, walk outside, stretch, or talk with a friend or supportive loved one, may not be a habit. The good news, any good habit can be started at any time.  It is a bonus if you eat a healthy diet, limit sugary and processed foods, and try to get some sleep.

Engaging in self-care actually strengthens adaptive networks in the brain, enabling a more fluid process with the EMDR therapy.  The resolution of traumatic memories will come more easily with greater resources. Know that your story is unique and valuable and that it is possible to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges. The human spirit is tremendously resilient, and EMDR therapy is a wonderful therapy to capitalize on that resilience.