You’ve been advised to look into EMDR therapy. So far, you have heard that it can help with trauma, PTSD, or anxiety. But what is it really? The videos you come across on YouTube and articles you’ve read seem sort of vague.
Let’s get you up to speed.
EMDR stands for eye movement reprocessing and desensitization. That is a mouthful! The creator of EMDR, Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., agrees with you. If she had to do it all over she would change the name to something more simple.
Along with many others, Dr. Shapiro discovered when a disturbing event occurs, it can get locked in the brain with the original picture, sounds, thoughts, feelings, and body sensations. An event can mean a car accident, war, losing a loved one, or repeated relational abuse, etc.
Trauma is a subjective term, unique to the person experiencing it.
EMDR seems to stimulate the information from an event and allows the brain to reprocess experience that ail you. This leaves you thinking in a healthier way so that you can function the way you want.
You have full control over the process; the therapist is just there to guide you.
What happens in EMDR is very simple on the outside, yet very complex data processing is happening within you. Experiences, feelings, thoughts and sensations are processed more quickly than with talk therapy alone due to the eye movements (taps or tones) in this therapy. Both sides of your brain are being stimulated which has been scientifically proven to put the brain into a free flow type state that enables efficient processing to happen.
I don’t want someone meddling with my subconscious.
Don’t fret, you will not leave an EMDR therapist’s office quacking like a duck when you hear a bell. EMDR is not hypnosis. All of the work you do in therapy comes from your mind alone. Hypnotherapy is about altering your state, relaxation and taking suggestions from the hypnotherapist. None of this is a part of EMDR. I suggest you do some reading on the subject if this is a concern.
Don’t want to talk about what happened? That’s okay! This is perfect for you.
Since EMDR is totally in your control, you don’t have to talk about what happened if you don’t want to. All the therapist needs to know is whether a change has occurred in your thinking, feelings or sensations.
I don’t remember what happened.
Many people do not have a memory of something specifically happening resulting in the feelings that disrupt their lives. Often times because it isn’t just one specific thing that happened. What may be causing you difficulty is many things happening over and over that have built up over time.
Regardless, if you know exactly what has affected you or not people have many things in their lives that occur that they struggle with fully processing on their own. The result may be PTSD, general anxiety, phobias, or struggles in their life that they can’t seem to manage to eliminate.
EMDR helps work through obstacles to your happiness quickly so that you can live a symptom-free life.
EMDR helps people that have big T trauma (one big identifiable event) and those with little t trauma (small repeated events over time).
Here are some troubles EMDR helps alleviate:
- Wedding day nerves
- Work-related relational issues
- Worries about having a child
- Chronic pain
- Test anxiety
- Relationship problems
- Childhood trauma
If you think that EMDR could help you, give me a call to get some more information and know for sure.
Our phone call will take about 15-20 minutes. If you decide you would like to make an appointment, we can set up a time together in the next week or two, depending on our joint availability!
Questions are free. You have nothing to lose.