What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a powerful psychotherapeutic approach originated and developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro in 1987. It is a systematic approach involving dual attention stimuli, such as eye- movements, tapping or sounds, administered while a client focuses on disturbing memories, anxiety, psychological and somatic symptoms. EMDR Therapy seems to facilitate the natural processing abilities of the brain and nervous system. An individual’s normal healing abilities are activated and one’s body-mind balance is supported in its inner capacity to mend.
What does EMDR help?
EMDR therapy is effective in treating individuals who have experienced psychological difficulties arising from traumatic experiences, such as assault, motor vehicle accidents, war trauma, torture, natural or disasters, sexual abuse and childhood neglect. EMDR Therapy is also increasingly used to treat complaints that are not necessarily trauma- related, such as panic disorder, phobias, performance anxiety, self-esteem issues and other anxiety-related disorders.
Who is EMDR for?
EMDR therapy is not for everyone. Clients must be stable and able to maintain dual awareness during processing of material. Furthermore, clients outside of the “window of tolerance” of arousal require more preparation prior to commencing the Standard EMDR Therapy protocol. Your EMDR therapist will help you determine if you are a good candidate for EMDR therapy at this time.
What does an EMDR session look like?
EMDR therapy is a different way of doing things. It uses scripts and follows a process. There is not a lot of talking during an EMDR session, as the client is moving through their own adaptive information processing guided by the therapist. For some clients, this is uncomfortable at first, especially for those who are used to standard talk therapy approaches. Trusting the process is part of being open to EMDR therapy.
How many appointments do I need?
EMDR therapy requires a time commitment. Initial sessions are booked closer together, as the groundwork is laid for the client to process the disturbing target memories and build new adaptive neural networks. Clients and clinicians need to be able to prioritize sessions in order to move through the work in a way that promotes optimal healing. Too much time in between sessions interrupts this process and limits treatment effects. As for how many sessions are required, a general plan will be made with your therapist before beginning EMDR, but no two people are the same, and the time needed for EMDR can vary greatly depending on the client and their needs.
If you have questions about EMDR and if it is the right fit for you, feel free to reach out to us at 519.302.2300 or email reception@brantmentalhealth.