Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy
Our memories can be some of our greatest assets as well as our most influential curse. While good memories can cheer us up on a bad day, make us laugh, and help us bond with our friends and family, not all recollections are positive ones. Over time, EMDR therapy can help us better process our harmful memories of past experiences and manage the emotions surrounding them. Learn more about eye movement desensitization and reprocessing and how Blair Wellness Group practices this form of therapy below.
What is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR counseling, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, is the process of introducing stimuli to control your eye movement as you recollect negative or harmful past events. The purpose of this exercise is to manage the fluttering of your eyelids and use that control to better process the feelings surrounding the recalled event. Since eye movement is often a key sign of excessive stress, this method seeks to give the client a new strategy for dealing with PTSD symptoms or trauma. As the client recalls a harmful memory, the psychologist will slowly encourage a shift in thinking to more positive subjects, allowing the individual to feel the contrast in their eye motion. With this, they can start learning how to best calm themselves down from a heightened state on their own.
The Early Phases of EMDR Therapy
Before the EMDR therapy process can officially begin, there is a bit of preparation work to ensure that the client knows what’s about to occur and why it’s important. This preliminary stage will also gauge the client’s comfort levels and establish guidelines for stopping the session if needed at any time. Psychologist will often begin by gathering an overall history of the client’s trauma or mental health condition. This includes any diagnosis papers as well as discussing some difficult topics to develop targets for therapy. Once some potential targets are identified, the psychologist will explain what exactly the EMDR consultation and counseling consists of. During this time, they’ll instruct the client on key eye movements and help them practice for the upcoming session. They’ll also walk the client through essential techniques for calming themselves down if necessary. Then, from the overall image of the memory to what the client feels and mentally processes in that space, the psychologist stimulates the target memory as the therapy begins.
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The EMDR Therapy Process
Rapid eye movement therapy is a very involved process that takes a client through several distinct stages of cognition, emotion, and physical response. Here, we’ve broken down these key steps and how they slowly integrate better management habits into the client.
1) Desensitization: Once the target memory is activated, the client begins the desensitization phase of therapy. This step encourages the client to walk through the memory while participating in several eye movement exercises. They’ll discuss several elements of the memory while using the activity of the eye techniques to regulate their response.
2) Installation: Installation, then, is the continued conditioning of the eye movement response until the client is less affected by the memory. This process strengthens the positive response and weakens the negative or harmful anxiety triggers.
3) Closure: Closure ends the session by either completing the target memory and discussing additional details that have been revealed or by containing the memory for the next session. Closure is a careful procedure because it must ensure that the client returns to a calm and safe state.
4) Re-evaluation: Re-evaluation then occurs over the remaining sessions. At these times, the client reveals any additional details that may have come to them and divulges whether they’ve noticed an improvement in their condition. The process of determining new memories for therapy then begins once again.
The Benefits of EMDR Counseling
Though a sensitive and often complex process, EMDR therapy can provide receptive clients with several important benefits over time. By finding healthier alternatives to processing symptoms and emotions, many individuals can experience significant changes in their outlook toward life and their past trauma. Here are some of the advantages of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing.
For those struggling with the symptoms of PTSD, EMDR therapy can be particularly effective at reducing the anxiety and physical panic that come along with those symptoms. When you can recognize your thoughts surrounding your trauma, you can adopt better ways to manage those thoughts as you go about your day. This not only reduces the impact of your past triggers but can give you the confidence to ignore them.
Eventual Loss of Diagnosis
As these clients continue through therapy, some may even improve their condition to the point of losing their initial diagnosis. When you can let go of your trauma and reduce the impact of your triggers, you’ve transcended the limitations of your diagnosed condition. Whether it be PTSD, anxiety disorder, or addiction, the techniques you learn from your rapid eye movement therapy can help you move past them in a healthy way.
EMDR therapy can help you develop a more positive self-image as well. Memory processing is a chance to take a deeper look at ourselves and our emotions. In doing so, we can better understand them as well as how they often impact our emotions in certain situations—particularly instances of trauma. This understanding allows us to become more in-tune with our needs and see ourselves in a more positive light.
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We offer evening and weekend appointments for our Concierge patients. Call us today at 310-999-4996 to discuss how Blair Wellness Group can help you overcome depression, anxiety, relationship challenges, addiction issues, and personality disorders.
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The Applications of EMDR Therapy
EMDR counseling has several potential applications in the world of mental health. From walking clients through their traumatic experiences to helping manage the symptoms of diagnosed conditions, it’s growing in popularity among various demographics. EMDR consultations are especially effective for those living with PTSD, as these sessions allow individuals to directly confront the source of their trauma and learn how to manage said trauma. Individuals who suffer from frequent panic attacks can also use these sessions to identify the source of their symptoms and address it.
Call Blair Wellness Group for EMDR Therapy
Whether you’re looking to manage the symptoms of a mental health condition or you’re seeking to work through past trauma, EMDR counseling can be incredibly beneficial to your long-term well-being. Blair Wellness Group utilizes this form of psychotherapy to help individuals work through negative memories and reduce the harmful emotions or anxiety that stems from them. Our professional psychologist will tailor these sessions to your distinct needs to ensure they’re not only productive but also within your range of comfort. Contact us today to schedule an EMDR trauma therapy appointment.
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With 15+ years of clinical experience in providing an array of psychological services, we are committed to helping our patients achieve their goals.
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We are dedicated to the well-being of our clients and have the extensive training to provide them with high-quality care.