Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy
Traumatic incidences such as motor vehicle accidents, violent incidences such as a random attack or an engagement in war, a fall, emotional or physical abuse, to name a few, are largely negative in their nature, are devastating and adversely influences how we view the world, and how we interact with others. These events make us question what we know about the world, whom we can trust, and how much control we have over our lives. Our emotions are overwhelming, and for many of us, we are unable to function in our everyday tasks.
Gone untreated, people who experience traumatic incidences quite often experience post-traumatic stress, intense anxiety, panic attacks, and depression.
What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma.
EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. To date, EMDR therapy has helped millions of people of all ages relieve many types of psychological stress.
EMDR International Association
Watch this powerful video:
The Goal of Trauma Therapy
When we experience trauma, whatever trauma it may be, there are emotions that go along with it. Everytime we recall the trauma, we also remember the images and the sounds that accompany that memory, and we also remember how it felt at that moment.
The goal of trauma therapy is to detach the emotions – as much as is possible – from the memory of the trauma, such that we can recall the memory without experiencing the intensity of the emotions. In other words, it helps us to live and function healthily in the present, without being overwhelmed by thoughts and emotions of events in our past.
How does EMDR work?
EMDR was founded by Dr Francine Shapiro, when she was out for a walk one evening. Dr Shapiro observed that her eye movements reduced the intensity of her own disturbing thoughts. This experience eventually led to the development of EMDR. This experiential therapy incorporates work with eye movements and brain processes, to alleviate the impact of disturbing thoughts or images.
EMDR seems to have a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information. Normal information processing is resumed, so following a successful EMDR session, a person no longer relives the images, sounds, and feelings when the event is brought to mind. You still remember what happened, but it is less upsetting. Many types of therapy have similar goals. However, EMDR appears to be similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Therefore, EMDR can be thought of as a physiologically based therapy that helps a person see disturbing material in a new and less distressing way.
Read about the fascinating story of how EMDR was discovered here.
What can EMDR treat?
Originally designed to help people experiencing post-traumatic stress, research has shown that EMDR has positive affects in the treatment of other issues. These include phobias, panic attacks, personality disorders, disturbing memories, addictions and stress reduction, to name a few.
Book your EMDR session today
Have you experienced trauma, and would you like to get help to feel better?
A number of our therapists are trained in EMDR techniques and have helped many clients with their experience of trauma.
Call us today for a free consultation and find out more about what a EMDR therapist could do for you. 604-484-2737.