When troubling symptoms due to post-traumatic stress disorder or other past traumas plague your life, it’s time to turn to eye movement and desensitization reprocessing or EMDR therapy. The Green Room Psychological Services Inc. team in San Diego, California, is at the forefront of this revolutionary type of therapy, which has helped millions of patients since its development in the 1980s. Call the office or book an appointment online to learn more about this cutting-edge therapy.
EMDR is a type of therapy that involves the patient recalling disturbing memories from their past while focusing on subtle bi-lateral eye movements with the guidance of a specially trained therapist. This approach can lessen trauma symptoms like emotional distress and mental blockages.
Although EMDR therapy is a fairly new treatment approach for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it has been extensively researched and endorsed by many established institutions, including the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization.
EMDR therapy focuses on the patient’s past events, current issues that have arisen due to the trauma, and the development of healthy skills for dealing with future actions and wellness. Generally, an individualized plan is formulated over several sessions.
Researchers are not wholly sure how EMDR therapy affects the brain, but evidence suggests that it changes how your brain processes information. When you experience a disturbing or very painful event, your body and mind can essentially get “stuck in time.”
The sounds, sights, and feelings you experience during the traumatic event can trigger intense fear, nightmares, and flashbacks. When you encounter certain emotions and senses associated with that event again, your body responds similarly to the way it did the first time the trauma occurred.
EMDR therapy helps your brain engage with its natural healing process. Through this therapy, your brain learns to reprocess and compartmentalize the information more appropriately so that you are no longer “stuck” in the event.
With EMDR therapy, there are usually eight treatments, but people who experience multiple traumas can benefit from more sessions. For many patients, EMDR therapy can be completed in fewer sessions than other forms of psychotherapy.
During the first session, your provider assesses your mental health history and the events that led you to seek professional assistance. Using this information, your provider works with you to develop a treatment plan for the following weeks.
They’ll explain what you’ll be experiencing and self-soothing ways to mentally prepare for your treatment and any distressing emotions that may arise. Your provider makes sure you leave the treatment with the tools necessary to manage your emotions and symptoms in a healthy way.
During the bulk of your EMDR therapy, you’ll likely be asked to identify a negative belief about yourself, visualize an image related to a traumatic memory, and any physical sensations you experience when you recall the event. You do not necessarily have to disclose the painful events in great detail for the team at The Green Room Psychological Services Inc. to help you.
Your provider then leads you in a series of eye movements while you discuss your emotions. This is known as “dual attention stimuli,” and it is the backbone of EMDR therapy.
It’s important to come to every therapy meeting to achieve the best results. You may be asked to do homework or keep a diary of any related feelings that arise when you are not in session.
There’s anecdotal evidence that suggests EMDR therapy is useful for helping people who suffer from phobias, anxiety, depression, and panic disorders. A few studies have shown that EMDR therapy helps alleviate symptoms in patients who have schizophrenia.
If you feel like PTSD or trauma is negatively impacting your life, or if you want to determine if your panic attacks or anxiety can be treated with EMDR therapy, contact The Green Room Psychological Services Inc. by phone or book a consultation online today.