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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR) is new to the world of mental health treatment compared to more traditional therapies and addiction treatments. In the world of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment, however, a number of alternative therapies have been shown to be extremely effective – EMDR is one of them.

*Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Quick Facts

  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing treats the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • EMDR sessions last up to 90 minutes.
  • Utilizing your own rapid eye movements, EMDR therapy helps you to diminish the power of traumatic memories.
  • EMDR is completely safe with no side effects.
  • More than 20,000 therapists have been trained in EMDR.
  • There are a number of theories about how EMDR works, but many patients report that their stress level diminishes after treatment.

What Is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing?

Rather than depending on talk therapy or utilizing outside tools (e.g., animals, art supplies, medications, etc.), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing utilizes your rapid, rhythmic eye movements. These movements have been shown to diminish the power of disturbing and overwhelming memories that cause the flashbacks, fear and anxiety that define PTSD.

*EMDR Is Used to Treat:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety
  • Panic disorder and panic attacks
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance abuse and addiction

What Is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder can result after falling victim to or witnessing a traumatic event like war, physical or sexual abuse, a natural disaster, an accident or an attack. The symptoms can include:

  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Angry outbursts
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Extreme grief or guilt
  • Panic attacks

An EMDR Session

Typically, when you attend an EMDR session, you can expect your therapist to ask you to follow his fingers with your eyes as he moves them back and forth in front of your face – or he may use toe or hand taps or play musical tones. While the therapists provides the stimulus, you will be asked to recount the traumatic experience that is causing you to experience PTSD symptoms in minute detail, including how you felt emotionally at different points and what you felt physically as it happened. After you are done recounting your experience, the therapist will help you to think of more positive things – things that make you happy.

Before and after your session, your therapist will ask you to rate your level of stress. The goal? With each session, the level of stress you experience will begin to diminish and the memory of the trauma will become less powerful and debilitating.

Should EMDR Be Included in Your Treatment Program?

Depending upon your stress level and how your disorder affects your day-to-day life, you may benefit from including eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy in your mental health treatment plan. Contact us at the phone number listed above to find a treatment program that can provide you with EMDR and all the therapies you need to manage your symptoms more quickly and effectively.