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Have You Considered EMDR Therapy For Your Mental Health Struggles?

Do you find that you worry all the time, can’t sit still, and even have trouble sleeping due to anxiety? Do you have irrational phobias like a fear of flying that holds you back from living your best life? Or have you experienced a traumatic event that has left you feeling trapped in a cycle of triggers and emotional reactions that impact you every day?

These debilitating issues can make life feel like a struggle no matter how long you’ve experienced them. Maybe you’ve tried therapy before, but it didn’t help. Now you are looking for something new. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a powerful therapy technique used to treat many issues, and it may be the right choice for you.

EMDR involves stimulating both sides of the brain (called bilateral stimulation) while being safely guided through your triggers by a therapist who enables you to free yourself from the physical and emotional reactions that are so difficult to deal with.

The Issues That Bring You To Therapy Are Usually Quite Common

The struggles that bring people to EMDR counseling like anxiety, phobias, and trauma are very common and nothing to be ashamed of. Most people have things that they get anxious about, but anxiety can often cause debilitating symptoms, and nearly 40 million adults are affected by an anxiety disorder every year (1). Phobias are a common mental disorder that are often underreported and may be co-occurring with other issues like anxiety and depression.

Furthermore, the causes of trauma are wide-ranging and include both major traumatic events like injury, witnessing a death, experiencing abuse, or surviving subtle emotional traumas like relationship struggles. Nearly 70 percent of people worldwide have experienced trauma at least once in their lives. (2) Issues like PTSD affect those in high-stress careers like First Responders, but EMDR can help.

If you have found yourself struggling, you just want to feel better emotionally, mentally, and physically. You want to live the life you have always dreamed of, and EMDR counseling with Ample Grace Psychiatry can help make that possible.

How EMDR Therapy Works

EMDR is a structured treatment that helps you reprocess old memories into more positive ones, allowing you to not become triggered by your usual stressors.

The process involves focusing on your triggers while simultaneously engaging in bilateral stimulation. The goal is to stimulate both sides of the brain in therapy, typically done with rapid eye movements or physical tapping on both sides of the body like your shoulders. This combination helps your brain reprocess your triggers so that they do not generate the same emotional or physical responses you have had in the past. Then, a positive thought is put in place so that when you experience your “trigger” again the positive memory comes up naturally instead of the negative one.

According to some studies, close to 90 percent of participants in a random trial who were victims of a traumatic event no longer had PTSD after only a few EMDR sessions. Most recently, a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health evaluated the effects of 8 sessions of EMDR therapy compared to 8 weeks of treatment with fluoxetine (Prozac), meaning this treatment can work as well as medicine for some individuals. (3)

Virtual Sessions With Ample Grace Psychiatry

Sessions begin with us collaborating to pinpoint the upsetting events in your life you would like to work on. The process involves a minimum of eight sessions to cover the eight phases of EMDR treatment, but most clients usually take on a few more sessions before or after counseling.

All of my sessions are done virtually, so we will be conducting therapy online where I can see you and observe how you respond to treatment. For instance, during the bilateral stimulation phase, I usually ask my clients to tap on either shoulder so they are visible in the camera. Eye movement is also easily observable over a camera as well.

Eight Phases Of EMDR

  • History Taking is where I learn more about you and your experiences that prompted us to begin EMDR treatment.
  • Preparation is when I explain the process and teach you grounding techniques and skills that can help outside the sessions.
  • Assessment is when you access your traumatic memory or triggering thoughts and sensations.
  • Desensitization is when the bilateral stimulation in therapy begins, usually with tapping to calm the nervous system when imagining stressful thoughts or feelings.
  • Installation happens once the memory no longer feels triggering to you and we move to install your positive thought or memory instead of the negative one.
  • Body Scan involves asking how these visualizations make you feel in your physical body.
  • Closure is a phase that happens at the end of each session, no matter how far along you are, that allows you to take the time to process what happened during your current session. 
  • Reevaluation gives us the chance to test out the waters of the positive installation and see if more EMDR is necessary. 

Since becoming trained and certified as an EMDR counselor, I have seen the benefits of this treatment outmatch other techniques for treating distressing thoughts and behaviors. I even used this treatment on my father to help him work through his personal trauma, and I saw how much it benefited and transformed his life. The same is possible for you. Your trauma memory, phobia, or source of anxiety won’t have as much impact on you in the future after this treatment.

Recovery takes time and patience, but it is very possible with the help of such a powerful therapy as EMDR.

Reach Out To Begin EMDR Therapy

Your healing journey starts today. Please visit my contact page to send your information and your request for EMDR therapy with Ample Grace Psychiatry.

  1. https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/facts-statistics
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4869975/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3951033/