What is EMDR and how can it help?
Updated: Oct 24, 2022
EMDR is an empirically proven psychotherapy treatment to help treat trauma by reprocessing past memories contributing to a wide range of diagnoses. It is an eight-step protocol process using bilateral stimulation to help desensitize the effects of the traumatic memories. The process entails identifying the traumatic event and emotions, the negative beliefs developed as a result and assessing the level of disturbance. The level of disturbance equates to how traumatizing the memory has been for the individual. When a traumatic event such as a car accident occurs, the individual may develop negative beliefs such as "I am not safe", "I cannot trust myself" or "I should have known better." Thus, emotions including fear and anxiety might develop following the accident, which gets triggered anytime they get into a vehicle or when the belief “I am not safe” is activated.
Although weeks, months, or even years may pass, the brain and the body hold onto the trauma, which “contribute to the onset of severe mental disorders and can worsen their prognosis” (Gomez et al., 2017, p.2). For example, after experiencing a car accident, physical symptoms such as sweaty hands, intense fear when driving, or being inside a vehicle might continue years after the accident occurs. Moreover, EMDR is not limited to just treating PTSD, but also includes addressing comorbid disorders, PTSD, and many other mental disorders. Throughout the years, the efficacy of EMDR has been proven to help treat those struggling with numerous psychiatric disorders such as bipolar, anxiety disorders, chronic pain, substance use disorders, etc. (Gomez et al., 2017, p.1).
EMDR will help the individual process the activating events contributing to mental health problems, reframe negative beliefs associated with it, find emotional relief, and improve symptoms. Once the event is reprocessed, the mental blocks have been lifted which allows healing to begin. The individual may recall the memory but have no emotional attachment associated with it. According to a recent study, 100% of single-trauma victims and 77% of complex trauma victims no longer presented with criteria for PTSD after only 6- EMDR sessions. (EMDR Institute, Inc). EMDR has been found to be extremely effective to treat a wide range of traumatic events ranging from bullying to more complex cases such as abuse and/or domestic violence.
At BMS Alignment we have certified EMDR therapists who utilize this therapeutic style to help those struggling with trauma, self-esteem, relationship distress, addictions, and other mental health issues. Call today or submit a request online to learn more about EMDR and how it can help you or your loved ones!
EMDR has been used to treat:
Grief & Loss
Valiente-Homez, A., Moreno-Alcazar, A., Treen, D., Cedron, C., Colom., F., Perez, V., & Amann, B.L. (2017). EMDR beyond PTSD: A Systematic Literature Review. Frontiers in Psychology, 8 (1668), 1-10. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5623122/
What is EMDR? Emdr.com. https://www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr/
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