EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing
What is EMDR?
EMDR is an evidence-based therapeutic intervention that is effective at helping individuals resolve thoughts and feelings related to disturbing life events. It is an integrative therapy that can generally help people experience relief and increase emotional functioning in a relatively short period of time.
How does it work?
EMDR involves assisting the individual in lifting or releasing blocked memories of disturbing life events through the use of bilateral stimulation. The bilateral stimulation can be accomplished through eye movements, auditory sounds, or tapping. It is believed that once these blocked memories are released, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that may have developed as a result of disturbing life events will shift, which will enable the individual to experience better overall functioning
What concerns can EMDR address?
EMDR was originally developed for individuals who experienced a history of exposure to trauma and/or PTSD. In addition to helping individuals who have a history of trauma or PTSD, EMDR can also treat the following concerns:
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Fears and phobias
- Fears and phobias
- Complex trauma (including history of child abuse, rape, domestic violence, etc...)
- Combat trauma
- Medical trauma
- Pregnancy and birth trauma
- Life transition stress
- Pain disorders
- Stress reduction
- Performance anxiety
- Performance enhancement
What is an actual EMDR session like?*
An EMDR session typically lasts for approximately 60 minutes. During this time, the client identifies a target memory or future event to focus on during the session. The therapist and client spend a brief period of time discussing aspects of the target memory or future event, such as related thoughts and feelings. Once complete, the therapist facilitates a number of sets of bilateral stimulation while the client focuses on the target memory or future event. The therapist checks in with the client after each set, and the segment is complete when the client has experienced a resolution of the disturbing memory or confidence in the future event. Experiencing a resolution from a disturbing memory or increased confidence may take anywhere from one to a number of sessions depending on several individual client factors.
*Please note- EMDR is an adjunctive therapy and should be used in the context of traditional psychotherapy.
There are many factors to consider when making this determination, including life history and current level of functioning. It is important to meet with an EMDR trained therapist in order to evaluate your circumstances and then mutually decide if EMDR is right for you.
In order to schedule a free EMDR phone consultation, please call Tara Bulin, LCSW at: 855-552-9355 ext. 119 or Tara@SouthBayWellness.com.