Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)
What Is EMDR?
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is not a mainstream form of psychotherapy. Instead, EMDR is a unique form of therapy that focuses on the controlled exploration of trauma. This evidence-based therapy may be useful to you if you have unresolved trauma. To process and heal from trauma, we provide EMDR-certified counselors to assist you with eye movement desensitization and reprocessing.
How Does EMDR Work?
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing treatment involve a series of hand motion techniques implemented by an EDMR-certified therapist. Sometimes, the therapy involves light tapping motions to keep you engaged in the present. Guided prompts help you revisit memories linked to trauma and guided suggestions will assist you in reprocessing the event.
Unlike talk therapy, EDMR’s unique exercises counteract your stress response of fight, flight, freeze, or fawn. Similarly, these therapy techniques allow you to remain in the present moment. The tapping also prevents the onset of a dissociative episode during the session.
As a modified version of general hypnotic induction, we believe that EDMR works by offering suggestions during the sessions. These suggestions present the idea that your emotional pain linked to a traumatic event will lessen as time passes.
What Happens During An EMDR Therapy Session?
EMDR uses a combination of eye movements, initiated by a therapist who will have you follow their fingers with your eyes. In turn, these repetitive moments prompt your eyes to follow their finger movements from left to right. This technique is similar to the movements of a pendulum.
Alternatively, your therapist may use EMDR vibration devices such as paddles, pulsers, or buzzers as grounding techniques. These devices also help you to stay in the moment as you recall a traumatic memory.
After your therapist has lulled you into a state of calm, they will ask a series of guided questions to reengage your mind and revisit memories linked to trauma.
In doing so, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing techniques work to focus your attention on processing trauma while keeping your mind and body calm.
Is EMDR Effective?
According to the World Health Organization, “EMDR aims to reduce subjective distress and strengthen adaptive cognitions related to the traumatic event.” Similarly, a substantial amount of evidence-based research supports EMDR therapy as an effective and efficient treatment for individuals with a history of trauma.
EMDR is proven to assist in the treatment of conditions including:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD)
- Nicotine addiction
- Oxidized food addiction
Due to the evidence in support of this therapy technique, EMDR may also be useful in reducing the magnitude of extreme drug cravings. For this reason, we believe EMDR for trauma is a benefical therapy for those with substance use disorders and co-occurring PSTD.
With that said, EMDR is not a substitute for treatment within a comprehensive recovery program. At Royal Life Centers, we offer EMDR therapy at certain locations as an elective therapy option. As such, EMDR can be an incredibly helpful tool for those in addiction recovery. When used to complement the healing of trauma, EMDR can help you recover from addiction during the treatment process.
Healing From Trauma With EMDR
EMDR helps you to reduce negative feelings linked with recollections of traumatic events. Unlike most forms of cognitive behavioral therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy concentrates on emotions instead of thoughts. More specifically, EMDR therapists focus less on your thoughts and more on the disruptive emotions that emerge from the traumatic event. This is especially beneficial for people who struggle with repressed memories who struggle to remember the details of past trauma.
More importantly, the goal of EMDR therapy is to ensure your sense of safety remains intact during and after each therapy session. This is essential because you maintain your awareness of your surroundings as you reprocess your traumatic memories. During each session, your therapist will provide constant guidance and reassurance. Both in therapy and throughout our treatment programs, your safety and well-being are our highest priority. Because We Care.
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