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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is designed to help individuals who suffer from emotional aftereffects inflicted by traumatic memories. EMDR is an interactive psychotherapy technique that has been shown to relieve psychological stress and can be especially effective in treating those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
This therapeutic approach utilizes sensory input to assist those struggling with trauma by unblocking emotional processes that have been stagnated due to distress. Unblocking their emotions allows patients to reprogram their brains, providing the opportunity to begin healing from the fear and pain that were brought about by the trauma and emotional distress that they endured. Throughout EMDR therapy sessions, individuals will relive their traumatic experiences in brief doses while the therapist directs their eye movements. This form of therapy can also help individuals gain a new perspective while simultaneously improving their self-esteem and strengthening their personal beliefs about their capabilities.
Reliving a traumatic event can feel overwhelming and scary, making it important that a client has complete control to be able to stop their therapist at any point during a session. A typical session lasts roughly 60-90 minutes and may be used with adjunctive therapy if necessary.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing involves paying attention to three time periods: past, present, and future. Patients will focus their attention on past disturbing memories and related events. They will then give attention to any current situations that are causing them distress, while also learning to develop skills needed for a healthy and successful future.
EMDR treatment requires multiple sessions to incorporate the eight phases that it takes patients through. It is highly recommended that patients complete all eight phases to achieve the full benefits of treatment. Here is a step-by-step walkthrough of the eight phases of EDMR treatment
During the first phase, you and your therapist will go through your history to help decide where you are in your treatment process. You will start to discuss their trauma in order to identify any potential traumatic memories that will benefit from being treated. This can be a tough phase for most people, as it requires the discussion of the painful memories, events, and experiences that are associated with their trauma. Dependent on your history, you and your therapist will develop a treatment plan that will target specific memories or incidents.
The second phase is when your therapist will teach you about different methods you can use to cope with emotional and psychological stress. These methods can include stress reduction techniques that can be utilized both in and out of your sessions, leading to the added benefit of a healthier overall approach to stress.
Here your therapist will identify the specific memories that will be targeted, as well as any components (such as negative emotions or physical sensations) that are associated with each target memory.
This phase attempts to measure your negative emotions and sensations in terms of Subjective Units of Disturbance (SUD). This allows the identification and resolution of any similar events are associated or connected to the target. The therapist will lead you through sets of eye movements, sounds, and taps that can help to shift your focus until the SUD levels have decreased.
Throughout the installation phase, your positive cognition will be strengthened and installed. Individual positive cognition will be measured using the Validity of Cognition (VOC) scale.
Once you can strengthen your positive cognition, a therapist will bring up the original targeted event to see if there is any residual tension or lingering negative emotions.
During this phase, you and your therapist will discuss the positive results you have made. In some cases, therapists have patients keep a journal or log, allowing them to record their experiences and take note of which calming techniques they can utilize for self-soothing outside of the session.
In the final phase of treatment, you and your therapist will discuss your progress and evaluate the degree to which you have met your goals. At this point, it will also be determined if working through other target emotions would be beneficial to you.
EMDR has been proven to be effective in treating a wide range of mental health concerns and has become a key methodology in some approaches to relapse prevention. RECO Intensive offers a team of professionals who can help treat you or your loved ones with the most effective method of treatment for your unique needs.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy is a fast-growing technique that has proven to be successful. Although reliving your past trauma can be scary and emotionally draining, with the right care, professionals can help you process your experiences and allow you to find pathways to living a fuller life. The pain you have endured because of your trauma is valid, and you deserve long-term relief. Although EMDR is primarily used to overcome symptoms that are associated with PTSD, it has also been found to be effective in treating other mood and anxiety conditions such as depression, phobias, and panic disorders. EMDR aims to promote healing and to create an environment that is comfortable and safe for every patient. RECO Intensive wants to be here to help you find relief. If you have any questions regarding EMDR or want to know if it is the right therapy technique for you, call us today at (561) 464-6533.
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