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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a form of trauma therapy. It enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress caused by disturbing life experiences. Multiple studies show that EMDR allows people to experience the benefits of counseling more rapidly.
There are over 30 controlled studies examining the efficacy of EMDR therapy. Some studies show that 84%-90% of single-trauma victims no longer have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after only three 90-minute sessions. Another study found that 100% of the single-trauma victims, and 77% of multiple trauma victims, no longer met diagnostic criteria for PTSD after only six 50-minute sessions. In another study, 77% of combat veterans were free of PTSD symptoms in 12 sessions. According to the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization, EMDR is a recognized form of treatment for trauma.
How Does EMDR Work?
EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment. During one part of the session, the therapist introduces eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation). Firstly, the clinician determines the memory to target. Secondly, he asks the client to hold different aspects of that event or thought in his mind. Thirdly, the client uses his eyes to track the therapist’s hand as it moves back and forth across his field of vision. For reasons believed to relate to the biological mechanisms involved in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, internal associations arise, and clients begin to process the memory and disturbing feelings associated with it. Clients process painful memories on an emotional level using EMDR therapy. For instance, a rape victim shifts from feeling horror and self-disgust, to holding the firm belief that, “I survived it, and I am strong.” The insights clients gain in EMDR therapy result from the client’s accelerated intellectual and emotional processes.
Most clients conclude EMDR therapy feeling empowered by the very experiences that once served as barriers to living happy and fulfilling lives. In other words, their wounds have not just closed, they have transformed.
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Still Have Questions?
Do you still have questions about EMDR Therapy? Are you interested in exploring whether EMDR might be a good treatment option for you? Just complete the form below or give us a call at (317) 754-0808.