If you’ve dealt with a traumatic event in your life, you’re painfully aware of the effect it can have on your daily life. Memories of your previous experiences can haunt you and show up to cause you issues without notice. Toxic events can inhibit your career, academic or personal success, and the pain can seem impossible to overcome. Many try traditional talk therapy, but eventually give up due to the sheer emotional effort and time required to make significant life-changing progress. A lesser known type of psychotherapy known as EMDR therapy, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, can help people like you to more efficiently move past the traumatic memories hindering your life.
About Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
EMDR was developed in the late 1980s by an American psychologist name Francine Shapiro. The process focuses on the rapid, rhythmic eye movements of patients as a means of identifying and lessening the effects of memories surrounding past trauma. This approach was presented as an alternative to traditional talk therapy or medications.
Controlled research studies and successful use by therapists has given EMDR credence among psychological professionals. It is commonly used in the treatment of those with PTSD. It has also been shown effective in treating panic attacks, eating disorders, anxiety, phobias, addiction, physical or sexual abuse and traumatic memories, among other conditions. The therapy is made up of a series of phases meant to identify and then address the ways in which specific experiences have affected the resiliency of the brain. EMDR teaches new coping mechanisms or reprocessing methods that allow patients to better deal with previously disturbing memories, thoughts or self-sabotaging messages.
What to Expect During a Session
During a session, the therapist will perform back and forth hand motions in front of your face. You will be asked to follow these motions with your eyes. During this process, you’ll be asked to remember a past event that is disturbing to you, paying attention to the emotions and physical sensation you experienced at the time of the event. Then, you will be instructed to gradually shift your thinking to more pleasant topics. You’ll be asked prior to each session to provide your level of distress. The goal is to reduce the level over time with exposure to EMDR treatment.
How It Works
There are numerous theories as to how and why EMDR therapy works. No one is conclusive. Fundamentals of exposure therapy are incorporated into this approach through the introduction of traumatic memories and then creating a diversion in which the effects of the emotional repercussions are lessened over time. It is the belief of many that this technique leads to reduced anxiety surrounding the memories, along with the ability to gain control over traumatic thoughts.
This technique has proven effective in treating PTSD and other conditions. EMDR therapy at Cady Wellness Institute may very well be worth considering in helping you to overcome traumatic memories that affect your life. Our office is located in Newburgh, IN. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more.