EMDR therapy is an excellent way to reduce the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It utilizes rapid eye movement (REM) techniques and other elements to help alleviate emotional trauma. EMDR therapists are trained in recognizing common signs of distress and aiding clients in addressing them. Brooklyn EMDR works best when combined with traditional talk therapy and medications if needed.
It is a type of psychotherapy intended to move you out of your current stressful state by targeting “stuck” points in your life story. The goal is to process past traumatic experiences and help you become aware of the deeper underlying issues that may be causing the symptoms. EMDR therapists will ask you to describe a traumatic event and help you identify any negative beliefs or attitudes associated with it.
The EMDR therapy process
The therapy begins with the therapist guiding your eyes back and forth in rhythmic movement while recalling the traumatic experience. Eye movements stimulate your brain, allowing you to access memories and process them in a new way. This is known as “bilateral stimulation” and helps people gain insight into the meaning of their traumatic memories.
Once the memory has been processed, you will be asked to focus on positive beliefs about yourself, such as “I can handle this” or “I am strong enough to cope.” This helps to shift the focus away from negative beliefs and encourages positive thinking.
The therapist can also provide cognitive processing techniques that help you better understand how your thought patterns affect your behavior. With this understanding, you can work on forming healthier coping strategies for dealing with difficult emotions.
Conditions EMDR can treat
These are some of the conditions:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder: EMDR can help individuals who have experienced trauma, such as natural disasters, combat, assault, or abuse. The specialist can help the individual resolve their fear, guilt, and anger in a safe environment.
- Phobias: EMDR can also help individuals who suffer from phobias or extreme fear of certain situations or things. The therapy can help by exploring the origin of the fear and identifying ways to manage it more effectively.
- Grief and Loss: It helps those who have experienced loss or grief. The therapist can help the individual process their emotions healthily, allowing them to move forward with their life.
- Anxiety Disorders: EMDR can also reduce symptoms of anxiety disorders, such as panic attacks and social anxiety. The therapist will focus on the underlying causes of the anxiety and help the individual develop better ways to cope with their symptoms.
- Performance Issues: The therapy is used to overcome performance issues, such as stage fright or public speaking fears. The therapist can work with the individual to understand why they are having difficulty and how to address the issue.
Benefits of EMDR therapy
There are various benefits of EMDR therapy including:
- Reduced symptoms of PTSD: EMDR can help individuals with PTSD reduce symptoms, such as nightmares and flashbacks.
- Improved mood: Your mood can be improved by targeting negative thoughts and replacing them with more positive ones.
- Increased self-awareness: You can better understand yourself, your triggers, and how to manage stress healthily.
- Improved sleep: It can help reduce insomnia, allowing you to rest more soundly.
If you are ready to take the next step in your mental health journey, speak with David Salvage, MD, FAPM.