EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a treatment for trauma. Clients in many studies experience significant relief of past traumas and in a shorter time period than traditional therapies that may take years. EMDR is used to treat all kinds of traumas including: physical abuse, sexual abuse, traumatic injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and much more. It is also shown to be effective in helping athletes and performers to develop Peak Performance.
In cognitive behavioral therapy we are in the early stages of learning how psychotherapy works neurobiologically, in the brain. We do know that when a person is very upset, their brain cannot process information as it usually does. That traumatic moment becomes “frozen in time,” and remembering the trauma may feel as distinct as going through it for the first time. That’s because the images, sounds, smells, and feelings haven’t changed. The trauma has not been fully processed and such memories have a lasting negative effect that may interfere with a person’s perspective and the way they relate to others.
“In a span of 6 months, I almost lost everything because of frequent panic attacks. My anxiety grew out of control and I believed fears about myself were true. After procrastinating, I sought help from Marta and she recommended EMDR. Using a scientific approach, she was able to bring out my underlying problem and help me move on. After one session of EMDR, I was cured and life feels good again. Don’t wait to get help.” – J.P.
If you’re ready contact me for a free consultation.
A Deeper Definition of EMDR Trauma Therapy
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing seems to have a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information. Following successful EMDR therapy, normal information processing is resumed. A person no longer relives the images, sounds, and feelings when the event is brought to mind. You still remember what happened, but it is less disturbing. EMDR appears to be similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Therefore, EMDR can be thought of as a physiologically based therapy that helps a person view disturbing material in a new and less distressing way. Scientific research has established EMDR as effective for post-traumatic stress. Clinicians have also reported success using EMDR therapy for the following conditions:
- Panic attacks, phobias
- Grief, disturbing memories
- Pain disorders
- Eating disorders, body image problems
- Performance anxiety, stress reduction
- Sexual and/or physical abuse
- Stress and anxiety issues often respond well to EMDR;
- Difficulty trusting others
- Being attracted to people who just aren’t good for you
- Feeling guilty without knowing why
- A history of being physically or emotionally abused as a child
- Self-blame, self-consciousness, shame or guilt
- Chronic or excessive anger, sadness
- Worry, anxiety, obsessive thinking
- Unpleasant feeling, mood swings
- Negativity, pessimism, irritability
The EMDR International Association has defined EMDR:
“EMDR is an evidence-based psychotherapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In addition, successful outcomes are well documented in the literature for EMDR treatment of other psychiatric disorders, mental health problems, and somatic symptoms. The model on which EMDR is based, Adaptive Information Processing (AIP), posits that much of psychopathology is due to the maladaptive encoding of and/or incomplete processing of traumatic or disturbing adverse life experiences. This impairs the client’s ability to integrate these experiences in an adaptive manner. The eight-phase, three-pronged process of EMDR facilitates the resumption of normal information processing and integration. This treatment approach, which targets past experience, current triggers, and future potential challenges, results in the alleviation of presenting symptoms, a decrease or elimination of distress from the disturbing memory, improved view of the self, relief from bodily disturbance, and resolution of present and future anticipated triggers.”
Peak Performance through EMDR
An amazing benefit of this area of cognitive behavior therapy, in addition to reducing distress is Peak Performance. This treatment specialty can relieve those with performance anxiety and free them to move toward their maximum potential. EMDR offers great hope!
As a psychotherapist, I am trained and qualified and proud to provide EMDR therapy. To learn about the development and history of EMDR see www.emdr.com, emdria.org and The Evidence of EMDR (New York Times). Contact me to learn how I can help you from the comfort of my office in Irvine California.