What is EMDR therapy – You should know before starting treatment

what is emdr therapy

EMDR therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a type of psychotherapy that helps people process traumatic memories, combat anxiety and phobias, or manage other psychological issues.

In EMDR therapy sessions, a therapist will ask the client to recall a traumatic event from their past while simultaneously engaging in an alternate form of sensory stimulation – usually eye movements or taps on alternating sides of the body.

The goal is for the client to reprocess the memory by forming new neural connections between the right and left hemispheres of the brain. This helps to reduce symptoms of distress associated with the memory and can help promote healing and growth.

EMDR has been found to be very effective at helping individuals cope with trauma-related issues, and research has shown that it can reduce the amount of time necessary to process memories when compared to traditional talk therapy.

Additionally, EMDR is often used in conjunction with other types of therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). By combining multiple evidence-based approaches, individuals can experience improved outcomes and greater psychological resilience.

What does EMDR therapy do

The goal of EMDR is to help people move out of the stuck patterns that often occur when certain traumatic events are experienced. By allowing the nervous system to desensitize, reprocess, and store more adaptive memories, EMDR can help an individual to recover faster and reduce distress associated with disturbing experiences.

In many cases, this can lead to a decrease in post-traumatic stress symptoms, such as nightmares, intrusive thoughts, emotional numbing, and panic attacks. In addition to helping with acute trauma, EMDR has been used successfully to treat depression, anxiety, and phobias.

EMDR is a relatively new form of therapy that was developed in the late 1980s by Francine Shapiro. Since then it has become widely accepted among professionals who work with individuals affected by trauma and other mental health concerns.

It has been found to be an effective tool for reducing distress associated with traumatic memories and allowing people to begin working through the difficult feelings associated with these events more quickly and effectively.

With the help of their therapist, people can learn how to use the EMDR technique effectively and create lasting change even in the face of difficult experiences.

What are the 8 stages of EMDR

This technique focuses on resolving traumatic memories by using rapid eye movements and cognitive processing. EMDR is composed of 8 distinct stages, which are:

  1. History Taking – During this stage the therapist will ask questions about any traumatic experiences the patient has had in order to better understand their current state of mental health and overall well being.
  2. Preparation – In this stage the therapist will provide information about EMDR so that the patient can feel comfortable with the process.
  3. Assessment – During this stage, the therapist will assess the patient’s readiness and ability to handle EMDR.
  4. Desensitization – The therapist will guide the patient through a relaxation exercise in order to reduce tension and anxiety related to the traumatic event.
  5. Installation – In this stage, positive thoughts or images are used to replace any negative ones associated with the traumatic experience.
  6. Body Scan – This is when the patient uses eye movements to process any remaining feelings of distress or discomfort that have not been resolved during earlier stages of EMDR therapy.
  7. Closure – This is a phase where the therapist helps ensure that the patient feels safe after completing each session of EMDR.
  8. Re-evaluation – In this stage, the therapist will re-evaluate how well the patient has been responding to EMDR and if any further sessions are needed.

With a combination of these 8 stages, EMDR can help patients process traumatic memories and improve their mental health in a safe and effective manner.

Dangers of EMDR therapy

EMDR therapy, while a useful tool for some individuals, has risks that must be considered before engaging in this type of treatment. The main risk of EMDR is the potential to cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While it should not trigger PTSD in those who don’t already have it, people who do have PTSD may find their symptoms are exacerbated by the sessions.

Additionally, those with unresolved traumatic memories may experience increased distress during or after sessions due to the psychological upheaval involved with revisiting trauma.

Other than causing or exacerbating PTSD, EMDR can result in anxiety, flashbacks and other symptoms of emotional distress. It is important for individuals engaging in EMDR to feel comfortable discussing any reactions they experience as a result of the treatment.

As with any type of therapy, EMDR can also result in negative emotions such as depression or guilt.

The risks associated with EMDR should not be discounted; however, they must be weighed against the potential benefits that this type of therapy may provide.

When done correctly, it has been found to be an effective tool for helping individuals manage traumatic memories and move forward in their lives. With proper care and guidance from a mental health professional, these risks can often be minimized while still achieving positive results.

EMDR therapy cost

The cost of EMDR therapy can vary widely, depending on your location and the provider you choose. Generally speaking, sessions range from $75 to $250 per hour.

This cost is typically covered by insurance in many cases, depending upon policy coverage and whether the therapist is an out-of-network provider or not. It’s important to check with your individual health insurance carrier to determine what kind of coverage you may have for EMDR therapy treatment.

Additionally, some therapists offer sliding scale rates based on income level so it’s important to ask about those options as well if they are available.

Since EMDR therapy may require more than one session (average length of treatment ranges from 8–12 sessions), it’s good to plan for the cost of multiple sessions in advance.

Why is EMDR so controversial

The American Psychological Association (APA) has recognized EMDR as an evidence-based practice and acknowledges its effectiveness in treating post-traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, complex trauma, anxiety disorders, phobias, and other psychological issues.

The APA also recommends that EMDR be used after traditional psychotherapies have been tried and found to be ineffective. The research on EMDR is still ongoing, but the evidence thus far suggests that it can be a powerful tool in the treatment of mental health conditions.

Despite the controversy surrounding this form of therapy, many people have reported positive results from its use and more studies are needed to understand its full potential. It is important to remember that any form of therapeutic intervention should not replace traditional therapy methods, but should instead be used as an additional tool for managing mental health symptoms.

Ultimately, each individual should consult their doctor or mental health professional when deciding if EMDR is right for them.

Final Words

It is important to note that EMDR is not a replacement for traditional psychotherapy. Rather, it should be seen as an add-on or supplement to other forms of treatment.

The results achieved with EMDR may vary depending on the individual’s history and needs. It is always recommended to speak with a mental health professional before beginning any type of treatment.

EMDR can be an incredibly powerful tool to help individuals heal from trauma and create lasting positive change in their lives. So if anybody is looking for it, then you can consider it or you can recommend it others!

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