(Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
EMDR Therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy) is a technique that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of trauma. Many assume 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.
What is EMDR Therapy?
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 trauma. 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.
What does treatment look like?
EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment.
Phase 1: The first phase is a history-taking session(s). The therapist assesses the client’s readiness and develops a treatment plan.
Phase 2: During the second phase of treatment, the therapist ensures that the client has several different ways of handling emotional distress.
Phases 3-6: In phases three to six, a target is identified and processed using EMDR therapy procedures. These involve the client identifying three things:
1. The vivid visual image related to the memory
2. A negative belief about self
3. Related emotions and body sensations.
Phase 7: In phase seven, closure, the therapist asks the client to keep a log during the week.
Phase 8: Phase eight consists of examining the progress made thus far. The EMDR treatment processes all related historical events, current incidents that elicit distress, and future events that will require different responses.
Can EMDR cure me in one session?
No. Many sessions may be needed as indicated by your therapist. The exact number of sessions depends upon the specific patient, the severity of trauma, and the patients health history. However, controlled studies have shown that in 80-90% participants, a single trauma can be processed within as little as three sessions. Another study of combat veterans reported that after 12 sessions, 77% of patients no longer had PTSD.
Does EMDR result in any adverse side effects?
As with any form of psychotherapy, there may be a temporary increase in distress. Unresolved memories may surface that include a high level of emotion and physical sensation.