What you need to know about EMDR therapy:
EMDR which is also known as Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing is a specific type of therapy which is used to address various disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, phobias, chronic pain and addiction. EMDR was created by Francine Shapiro in the late 1980’s and is known today as one of the most effective therapies for trauma. EMDR consists of eight different phases and throughout each phase the client recall’s a distressing memory while experiencing bilateral stimulation, eye movements, the client is then able to move the memory to a more adaptive place in the brain. When a traumatic event occurs it becomes stored in the brain in a negative way, connected to symptoms and negative thoughts about self. EMDR assists the client in discussing the traumatic event and integrating it into a more positive association.
Phase 1 is client history and treatment planning which includes determining client readiness for treatment and creating a treatment plan based on symptoms and behaviors that need to be altered.
Phase 2 is the preparation phase which encompasses the therapist teaching the client self-control techniques that the client can utilize through the rest of treatment when they become triggered.
Phase 3 is the assessment phase, the therapist and client create a target plan of memories that need to be reprocessed as well as the image and negative beliefs about self the accompany the memory.
Phase 4 is desensitization which is the hardest phase in treatment because it involves utilizing bilateral stimulation while discussing the memory and decreasing the disturbance. In this phase the client may report some physical sensations and body memories that are also stored in the body connected to the memory, this is when healing begins.
Phase 5 is the installation phase and the client is now able to incorporate a positive memory to connect to the event to create a healthy pathway in the brain.
Phase 6 the therapist will complete a body scan which is a meditative technique to clear out any additional physical sensations connected to the memory.
Phase 7 is closure, which is using the skills learned in phase two to self-sooth and stabilize. In the last phase.
Phase 8 the therapist and client review of the effectiveness of all of the hard work the client made and discussing the next memory to target.
According to the EMDR Institute as many as 90% of trauma survivors appeared to have no PTSD after just three sessions of EMDR. Therapists have been using EMDR for the past twenty five years, to know more about EMDR or to see if it’s right for you, speak to an EMDR therapist.