How and Why EMDR Helps

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy which heals individuals from the symptoms and emotional distress following disturbing life experiences. It has become one of the top treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among many health care professionals.

Who is EMDR Recommended For

Individuals suffering from major trauma, such as sexual or physical assault, may need to undergo this treatment. People suffering due to combat experiences or the sudden death of a loved may also require it if they exhibit PTSD symptoms. Currently, individuals with anxiety disorders, sexual dysfunction, chronic pain, and chemical dependency are considered for this treatment after studies showed that they exhibited positive results.

What the Treatment Entails 

EMDR targets three time periods, the past, present and future. First, the treatment focuses on the past to distribute memories and related events. Next, current situations that cause distress are handled before the specialist starts developing skill and attitudes for ensuring positive future actions. The treatment, however, will require eight phases:

  • Phase 1 – Known as the History Taking Session(s), the therapist assesses the patient’s readiness and drafts a treatment plan accordingly. Together, the specialist and therapist identify possible targets, including distressing memories and current situations that may lead to emotional distress.
  • Phase 2 – During this phase, the therapist will recommend different ways of handling emotional distress. The therapist may teach their clients a variety of imagery and stress reduction techniques.
  • Phases 3 – 6 – Between phases three to six, a target is identified and processed using the treatment’s procedures. This usually involves patients identifying three things: a visual image related to memory, a negative belief about themselves, and emotions and body sensations.
  • Phase 7 – In this phase, which is known as closure, the therapist will advise their client to keep a log or start documenting what happens throughout the week. This allows the clients to remind themselves of the activities they learned during phase two.
  • Phase 8 – Phase eight is when the next session begins. It usually allows the therapist to examine the progress their patient has made so far.

While Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is considered an alternative treatment, it can put your mind at ease or allow your loved ones to gain control over their live again. To find out more about EMDR, do not hesitate to make an appointment: you can email here.