EMDR: An Alternative Therapy for Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of psychotherapy developed in the late 1980s by psychologist Dr. Francine Shapiro. It is a research-backed therapy that has been shown to effectively treat trauma, PTSD, and other mental health issues.
EMDR is based on the theory that traumatic experiences can be stored in the brain in an unprocessed state, resulting in negative emotional and physical symptoms. The client is asked to recall the traumatic event while the therapist guides them through a series of bilateral eye movements, taps, or tones during EMDR therapy. The goal of this process is to stimulate the client’s natural ability to heal and process traumatic memories.
Although the precise mechanism of EMDR is unknown, some theories suggest that it activates the brain’s natural adaptive information processing system, allowing it to reprocess traumatic memory in a more adaptive manner. Other theories contend that sensory stimulation during therapy can induce a state of relaxed awareness that promotes healing.
EMDR has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of trauma-related disorders such as PTSD, panic disorder, anxiety, depression, and phobias. EMDR has been shown in clinical studies to be as effective as other forms of therapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy, and it often requires fewer sessions.
Aside from its efficacy, one of the advantages of EMDR is that it is a relatively brief therapy. Treatment usually lasts six to twelve sessions, though this can vary depending on the severity and complexity of the individual’s symptoms.
EMDR has also been used to enhance the effectiveness of other therapies such as medication and talk therapy. It has been found to be especially beneficial for people who have suffered multiple traumas or who have not responded well to other forms of therapy.
EMDR is recognized as a valuable tool for both trauma survivors and mental health professionals.
If you’re dealing with the aftereffects of a traumatic experience, EMDR might be worth looking into. Contact our office to see if it is a viable treatment option for you.