What is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)? It is a structured therapy, which has been extensively researched as an effective psychotherapy method for treatment of anxiety, depression, OCD, chronic pain, addictions and other distressing life experiences.
EMDR Institute states “EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.”
EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment which includes (1) history-taking session(s), pros and cons of treatment modality (2) assessment of ability to handle emotional distress and teaching and implementing a variety of imagery and stress reduction techniques. The goal is to maintain stabilization during and between sessions while producing rapid and effect change. (3-6) During phases 3-6 the focus of sessions will be on targeting the identified event(s) with the goal for the individual to report no distress; emotional or body sensation(s) related to the memory. At this stage in treatment the individual often reports no strong response to the event(s) and is able to talk through their experience with out being triggered and/or expressing strong emotional and/or body response, with (7-8) being able to clear and close targeted event. Depending on the event being targeted, complexity of mental health concerns or traumatic events, distress tolerance, natural supports and ability move with the process of EMDR will depend on amount of EMDR sessions required to close a targeted event and/or work on specific mental health concerns with this modality.
Forward Counseling and Consultation’s (FCC) EMDR clinicians will work with you to determine an estimated amount of sessions required to work through individualized treatment goals and plans. If interested in scheduling an EMDR intake appointment select one of our many trained EMDR therapists at Forward Counseling and Consultation to assist you in your healing process.
For more information on EMDR therapy, research, publications and resources please visit EMDRIA (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing International Association).