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  • Writer's pictureSuzanne Teare, LCSW

The Power of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy

Trauma can have a profound impact on our lives, leaving us feeling stuck, overwhelmed, and disconnected. It can affect our relationships, our ability to trust, and our overall well-being.

Fortunately, there are evidence-based interventions like Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy that can help individuals process and heal from traumatic experiences. EMDR therapy is a powerful treatment approach that was originally developed to help individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, it has since been found to be beneficial for a wide range of trauma-related issues, including anxiety, depression, phobias, and even chronic pain.

EMDR can help with trauma, depression, anxiety, and more

So, how does EMDR therapy work?

During a session, the therapist either guides the client's eye movements from side to side, usually with their finger or a light bar, or introduces other techniques, such as tapping, to facilitate a protocoled treatment. This bilateral stimulation helps activate the brain's natural healing processes, allowing traumatic memories to be processed and integrated in a healthier way. While EMDR consists of 8 phases of treatment, one of the key phases of EMDR therapy is the reprocessing phase. This is where the client is guided to recall a traumatic memory while simultaneously engaging in bilateral stimulation. This process helps to desensitize the emotional charge associated with the memory, allowing the client to gain new insights and perspectives. EMDR therapy also incorporates elements of cognitive restructuring, where negative beliefs and thoughts related to the traumatic experience are identified and replaced with more positive and adaptive ones. This helps individuals develop a more balanced and realistic view of themselves and the world around them.

Cultivate balance with EMDR therapy

One of the unique aspects of EMDR therapy is its ability to target and process both big and small traumas. It recognizes that even seemingly insignificant events can have a lasting impact on our lives. By addressing these smaller traumas, individuals can experience significant relief and healing. If you're considering EMDR therapy, here are a few things to keep in mind: 1. Find a qualified EMDR therapist: EMDR therapy should be conducted by a licensed mental health professional who has received specialized training in this approach. Look for someone who is experienced and has completed EMDRIA approved training in EMDR. 2. Be prepared for the process: EMDR therapy can bring up intense emotions and memories. It's helpful to have a strong support system in place and to communicate openly with your therapist about any concerns or difficulties that arise. 3. Trust the process: EMDR therapy may seem unconventional at first, but trust in the research and the experiences of others who have found healing through this approach. Give yourself permission to fully engage in the process and be open to the possibilities of healing. 4. Practice self-care: Engaging in trauma work can be challenging, so it's important to prioritize self-care. Take time to engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, and be gentle with yourself as you navigate the healing process. EMDR therapy has the power to transform lives and help individuals find healing and relief from the effects of trauma. It's becoming a more and more popular type of therapy due to the profound benefits that so may have received. With the right support and a little bit of courage, you can experience the benefits of EMDR therapy too.

Heal trauma with EMDR therapy


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