As EMDR therapy grows in popularity, it’s not uncommon to hear more about it. Maybe someone suggested it to you. Maybe you’ve done your own research. If you’re struggling with a past traumatic experience, EMDR may help.

But it’s important to make sure that it’s the right option for you.

There are many types of trauma therapy out there and choosing the “right” one for your needs is crucial.

So, knowing precisely what EMDR is, any risks involved, and how to know if you’re ready for it will make a big difference. Let’s look at those ideas. Doing so will help you understand if EMDR is the best treatment option for your trauma or PTSD symptoms.

What is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It’s becoming one of the most popular trauma treatments across the globe, thanks to its effectiveness.

Not only can it help you deal with symptoms of anxiety or depression that often come with trauma, but it is designed to help you get to the root of that traumatic experience, as well.

How Does it Work?

Contented man drinking a cup of coffeeThere are many treatments for trauma – from traditional talk therapy to expressive therapies to medication and more. EMDR takes a different approach to helping you connect with unprocessed emotions and experiences.

During a typical session, you will be asked to connect with traumatic experiences in your life, or things that trigger them. It will only be for a short period of time and in a controlled setting. During this time, a therapist directs the movements of your eyes in a rhythmic pattern or perhaps has you tap on both shoulders or knees in an alternating fashion, creating what is called bilateral stimulation.

The bilateral stimulation help to dampen the severe impact of the traumatic event by allowing you to process the emotions and experiences that are troubling you. The technique gives less power to the trauma and allows you to take control over your own thoughts.

One reason EMDR has become so popular is that it speeds up the healing process for some people. But that depends on the type of trauma you’re dealing with and whether you’ve sought treatment before. It is, by no means, a “quick fix”. In fact, there are eight different phases of the EMDR process each client goes through. Before processing even begins, several phases happen to prepare you for processing:

  1. Talking about your history
  2. Preparing to work through painful past experiences
  3. Determining what those experiences will be

These stages can take a number of sessions before the processing begins:

  1. Working through the painful memories
  2. Implementing positive beliefs
  3. Dealing with physical symptoms
  4. Closing each session, whether processing is complete or not, to leave you in a safe place between sessions
  5. Reevaluating at the beginning of each session

Throughout the process, the therapist will help you process past experiences and present experiences that are bothering you, as well as the skills you may need for the future.

As you might expect, it can be an intense process, but that’s exactly why it is so effective in helping you work through some of the hardest experiences of your life.

Should You Consider EMDR?

Still not sure if EMDR is right for you?

Friends arm in arm on a hikeThe biggest issue to keep in mind is whether you’re actually ready for it or not. If you tend to shut down your emotions and try to hide them away, you might need some more time or a different type of therapy to get started. EMDR requires you to bring your emotions and memories forward. It’s necessary in order for you to process your feelings and thoughts. If you can’t do that yet, your therapist can work with you in the earlier stages of EMDR a little longer until you are ready.

But, if you’re ready and willing to bring forth your emotions and memories, EMDR can help you work through them effectively so you can take control of your life once again.

If you’re interested in EMDR or looking for more information, feel free to contact me. We can further discuss whether this is the best treatment option for you, and how to get starte

To find out more about my services in Delray Beach, FL and Sandy Springs, GA, click here Trauma Therapy.