Does your mind continue to replay past events?
- Have you have tried many different therapies, and nothing seems to work?
- When you struggle with painful memories or flashbacks, does it lead you to think negatively about yourself or feel hopeless and lost?
- Living with this instability, do you also feel unsafe, anxious, depressed and isolated?
- Do you wish you could process your memories in a healthy way so you can ultimately move forward and live a resilient and fulfilling life?
In the past, it was quite difficult to treat this type of pain. However, with EMDR Therapy, an evidenced-based approach, you have hope to alleviate your suffering and heal the fragments of your mind that hold you back in your life.
Understanding EMDR Therapy
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR therapy) is a method of psychotherapy that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Remembering a trauma or stressful event can be painful. Such memories have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person “sees” or perceives the world and the way they relate to other people. The goal of EMDR Therapy is to leave you with the emotions, understanding and perspective that will lead to healthy and useful behaviors and interactions.
EMDR Therapy enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that result from disturbing life experiences or trauma. Studies have found that EMDR Therapy decreases or eliminates symptoms of PTSD, and other associated ailments such as anxiety and depression. EMDR Therapy has proven that the mind can heal from psychological trauma, similar to how the body recovers from physical trauma. If a traumatized person’s system is blocked by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and causes them to suffer. Disturbing memories can have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person perceives their world, how they relate to themselves and others.
Through EMDR Therapy, negative thoughts, emotions, memories and behaviors caused by unresolved earlier experiences can be reprocessed and healed, allowing individuals to live a fulfilling life.
How Does EMDR Work?
No one knows exactly how EMDR works. However, we do know that when a person is overwhelmed and anxious, his or her brain cannot process information as it does ordinarily. Information can feel like it is “stuck.” Sometimes, remembering a trauma through EMDR may feel as bad as going through it the first time because the images, sounds, smells and feelings have not been fully processed in the mind. When this information is not processed, memories can have a negative effect on the way traumatized people see the world and relate to themselves and other people.
EMDR Therapy seems to have a direct effect on the way that the brain functions. Following a successful EMDR Therapy session, normal information processing is resumed and the images, sounds and feelings associated with a memory no longer are “re-experienced” when the event is brought to mind. The individual still remembers what happened, but it is less upsetting.
Many types of therapy have similar goals. However, EMDR Therapy is unique in that the protocol, which includes the eye movements, or alternating left-right attention, accelerate the process so that the end is often reached more rapidly than by other means. What happens during EMDR Therapy appears to be similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Therefore, EMDR Therapy can be thought of as a physiologically-based therapy that helps a person remember disturbing material in a new and less distressing way.
Who Can Benefit From EMDR?
Anyone who has ever experienced a disturbing event, feels overwhelmed, anxious or sad, or has memories they have not recovered from can benefit from EMDR Therapy. Other symptoms include feeling “stuck,” excess stress/tension, restlessness, sleep trouble, fatigue, appetite disturbances and ongoing physical health concerns despite treatment. More severe symptoms include panic attacks, flashbacks, nightmares, obsessions, compulsions, eating disorder and suicidal tendencies.
Scientific Studies Proving The Effectiveness Of EMDR Therapy.
A number of scientific studies have shown that EMDR Therapy is effective. For example, the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology published research by Wilson, Becker, and Tinker in December 1995 demonstrated that of 80 subjects with post-traumatic stress, clients improved significantly with EMDR treatment. Further study showed that this beneficial effect was maintained for at least 15 months. The findings from this and other studies indicate that EMDR Therapy is highly effective and that its results are long lasting. For further references, a bibliography of research on EMDR Therapy may be obtained through EMDRIA.
Overcome Painful Emotions With EMDR Therapy.
Before any EMDR treatment, you will go through a preparation and assessment phase. The purpose of the preparation phase is to explain and demonstrate EMDR techniques so you know what to expect and feel comfortable. The purpose of the assessment phase is to identify memories we can work with during an EMDR session that are the core issues of your mental, emotional or physical pain.
Once the preparation and assessment phases are complete, the treatment phase begins. You will be asked to focus on a “target” image that we selected together during the assessment phase. While following the eye movements or experiencing bi-lateral (alternating left-right) vibration or sound, you may find it very difficult to focus on the memory, but this is normal. The initial focus on the memory opens the door to un-metabolized material and the EMDR Therapy completes the processing on a deeper subconscious level.
The sets continue until processing is complete. You will be free to stop the process at any time by raising your hand. It is important to remember that your brain is doing the processing and you do not need to even think about it – healing will happen.
EMDR Therapy is a passive process and during the session you may experience feelings, thoughts or body sensations. Whatever you experience, allow it to pass, like clouds floating through the sky. If at any time you feel overwhelmed, you can raise your hand to stop the process. I will ask you to share what comes up after a set. This information will inform future sessions and metabolize the information that needed to be processed. When this happens, many of your symptoms can disappear or greatly reduce in severity.
Each person will process information differently based on personal experience. During EMDR Therapy, one may experience intense emotions, but by the end of the session most people report a great reduction in their level of disturbance.
What Kinds of Problems Can EMDR Treat?
Scientific research has established EMDR as effective for post-traumatic stress. However, clinicians have reported success using EMDR in treatment of the following conditions as well: phobias, panic attacks, performance anxiety, dissociative disorders, stress reduction, sexual and/or physical abuse trauma, disturbing memories, complicated grief, anxiety disorders and addictions.
Learn More About How EMDR Therapy Can Help You
If you are interested in how EMDR therapy can help you, please call or email me with a time when you’re available to talk. I offer a free 15 to 20-minute consultation, during which we can talk about any questions and concerns you may have. I really look forward to speaking with you. Please click here to send an email or call me at 561-676-3393.
For more information about EMDR, here is a helpful site: www.emdr.com.
“You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.”
— Dan Millman
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“Lynn, Thank you again for the wonderful sessions. I have been trying to release that past pain for a while and couldn’t do it until I got your help. I feel so much better, lighter and stronger. Thank you, thank you, thank you!” — Gretchen