What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a late-stage, trauma resolution method. Developed in the late 1980's, EMDR currently now has more scientific research as a treatment for trauma than any other non-pharmaceutical intervention. Based on empirical evidence as well as thousands of client and clinical testimonials, EMDR has proven to be an efficacious and rapid method of reprocessing traumatic material.
EMDR assists in processing traumatic information, resulting in enhanced integration, and a more adaptive perspective of the traumatic material. EMDR is about integration- bilateral hemispheric (right/left brain) integration; triune brain (brain stem, limbic system, and cerebral cortex) integration; and at least some type of mind/body integration. In a practical sense it is about convincing the mind and body that the traumatic event is indeed over. EMDR helps to put the past in the past, where it belongs, instead of staying stuck in the original trauma and feeling like it has happened all over again in the present with the same thoughts, emotions, and body sensations that accompanied the event in the past.
How is EMDR done?
EMDR is done in four stages:
1. Establishment of Safety-safety within the therapeutic relationship and safety within each individual EMDR session. During each EMDR session, your therapist will activate your own internal resources. They will guide you in an imaginal multisensory imagery exercise designed to activate images, emotions and body sensations of safety, protection, nurture and comfort. Once these images have been activated the actual trauma reprocessing will begin.
2. Activating the Traumatic Memory Network- The therapist will ask a series of questions regarding the traumatic memory. The purpose of these questions is to activate the entire traumatic memory network.
3. Adding Alternating Bilateral Stimulation- Once the entire traumatic memory is activated, the therapist will add alternating bilateral stimulation via any or all of the following:
a) begin the buzzing in your hands by turning on the Theratapper
b) play alternating auditory tones via headphones or ear buds
c) begin moving their hands back and forth, so you may visually track the movement across the mid-line of your body
4. Reestablishment of Safety- regardless of whether the traumatic material was completely processed or not, the session will end at a pre-set time. Before you leave, you will feel stable, embodied, oriented, and calm. Depending on you and your therapist's preferences, this may be accomplished in a variety of ways, including but not limited to re-activating your own internal resources, breathing exercises, prolonged muscle relaxation, etc.
EMDR helps to put the past in the past and allows you to move forward with a full capacity to experience life unemcumbered by the symptoms of PTSD, which can include depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. Call today to begin your journey to healing from PTSD using the EMDR treatment modality.
For more information, or to schedule a consultation, please call 614-880-9800.