EMDR is effective in helping people process emotionally painful experiences. Long-term results of EMDR effects overall well-being so responses can return to adaptive. If you are seeking a peaceful resolution to painful events or to release unhealthy coping skills, then EMDR may be for you.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a highly researched treatment modality that helps people recover and heal from concerns such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, panic attacks, depression, phobias, grief with break-ups or divorce, grief associated with death, physical injury, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, addictions and more.
When something traumatic happens, it's possible that your mind will continue to hold onto the troubling memories, sounds, feelings, sensations, or thoughts (aka triggers). At times you may feel helpless or hopeless because you aren't able to control what is happening in your mind or your body; this is because you are re-experiencing the emotions and sensations that are connected with the old experience. EMDR helps to reprocess the trauma so that the negative thoughts and feelings are reduced.
"Changing the memories that form the way we see ourselves also changes the way we view others. Therefore, our relationships, job performance, what we are willing to do or are able to resist, all move in a positive direction."
- Francine Shapiro, EMDR Creator
When a disturbing experience happens, the memories are stored in the brain with all the sights, sounds, thoughts and feelings that accompany it. When a person becomes very upset or triggered, the brain seems to be unable to process the experience as it would normally. So, the negative thoughts + feelings of the traumatic event are "trapped" in the nervous system. Since the brain cannot fully process these emotions, the experience and it's accompanying feelings are often suppressed from consciousness. However, the distress lives on in the body where it causes disturbances in emotional functioning.
The EMDR Technique does two very vital actions. First, it "unlocks" the negative memories and emotions stored in the nervous system, and second, it helps the brain to successfully process the experience. While you focus on the event, the therapist guides you through sets of side-to-side eye movements (or other forms of stimulation, like tapping or auditory). The combination of focus on the memory and eye movements simultaneously, allows you to process the memory safely. It also changes the way your brain stores the memory.
It is important to note that EMDR will not erase any memories - but you will have more control over how often you think of the memories because the things that used to trigger you will no longer be present. Additionally, you will be able to think about what happened to you without an emotionally charged response.
For more information and research on this, watch the video above or visit the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) website.
Brionna Murray is an EMDR trained practitioner through the EMDR Center of the Rockies.
EMDR sessions will be typically be 60-minutes long, but I may suggest a 90-minute session if that feels necessary. That will be figured out together.
If you are interested in EMDR, schedule your free 15-20 minute phone or video consultation today so I can learn more about why you are interested in EMDR and you can learn more about me and this process.
To learn more about session options and fees, click here.
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