EMDR: The Choice When You’re Stuck

Maybe you wonder if you need EMDR.

Do you feel stuck in your therapy?

Do you feel stuck in the past?

Do you feel stuck in emotions, thoughts, or behaviors?

If so, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing could be the right choice for you.

“The EMDR approach believes past emotionally-charged experiences are overly influencing your present emotions, sensations, and thoughts about yourself.”

(EMDR Consulting)

Your brain is incredibly adaptive with a goal to keep you safe. Sometimes, though, events or experiences hijack the brain’s ability to process the experience in an adaptive way. In the days and even years to come, similar experiences send us back to what happened in the original moment.

This why a combat veteran may hear a firework and duck for cover.

This is why a victim of childhood abuse may continue to seek love from abusers.

This is why your face turns red when you’re embarrassed at work, just like it did when you were the last one picked for the team at recess.

So what is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a structured but flexible form of therapy that involves 8 phases. Phase 4 uses eye movement, tapping, or another form of bilateral stimulation to reduce the vividness of traumatic experiences. EMDR is very similar to the way our brains problem-solve, create connections, and discard unhelpful material during REM sleep. Isn’t the brain amazing?

How is EMDR different from talk therapy?

Besides the bilateral stimulation, the biggest difference is that you don’t have to verbalize all the details of your past. You can share as much or as little as needed with the therapist, so that you don’t have to “relive” the event all over again.

If you like to talk, don’t worry – we do that too! Just like any form of therapy, EMDR is most successful when you feel an authentic connection with your therapist.

Is EMDR only for PTSD?

It is true that EMDR was originally designed for veterans with PTSD. Over time we’ve learned, experimented, and added to the work. Now we see success for anxiety, depression, OCD, addiction, and other conditions.

Want to know more?

Learn more about the EMDR experience here. If you enjoy research articles, you can find that here. I also invite you to reach out for a free, 20-minute consultation to determine next steps for you.

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