What Is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR (Eye Movement Therapy) is a form of psychotherapy that is used to treat emotional distress. It involves a number of steps designed to help the client reprocess and stabilize negative memories. The therapy can be effective in treating PTSD, stress, and other mental health issues. There are dozens of studies to support EMDR’s effectiveness. However, researchers still don’t understand the exact reasons for its success.

EMDR therapy is an eight-step process that helps the brain to process a traumatic experience. During this time, the therapist guides the patient through various stimulation sets that may include eye movements, auditory tones, and tactile taps. These steps aim to activate the natural healing processes of the brain, which allows the individual to reprocess a memory in a less stressful way.

In the first phase of EMDR, the therapist asks the client to take an inventory of what’s troubling him or her. He or she will be asked to write down thoughts, feelings, and physical reactions. This will help the therapist assess the client’s readiness for therapy. After completing this phase, the therapist will help the client develop a treatment plan for reprocessing the memory.

The second phase of EMDR focuses on developing specific skills and behaviors that are helpful in managing emotions. In this phase, the therapist and client jointly identify the target memory. They will also work together to identify negative beliefs associated with that memory.

Phase 3 teaches the client how to create a positive belief that is based on the memory. During this phase, the therapist will discuss new insights and insights from previous sessions. For example, during this phase, the therapist might ask the client to write down a positive statement. If the client hasn’t been able to think of a statement, the therapist will introduce a new one. Ultimately, the therapist will guide the client through the next steps in the EMDR process.

In the third phase, the therapist and the client will identify the most salient image associated with EMDR the memory. Once the therapist and the client have identified the most significant image, they will ask the patient to focus on that image. The image should be positive and should have a calm or peaceful feeling to it.

Lastly, in the fourth and final phase of EMDR, the therapist will focus on the positive belief that the client is now aiming to establish. During this phase, the client will be asked to rate the intensity of the negative and positive emotions associated with the memory.

While EMDR isn’t an exact science, it is a proven therapy that is widely used in the treatment of trauma. Studies have shown that EMDR is more effective than other forms of therapy.

Although EMDR is a psychological and physiological approach, there is no evidence that the method relies on drugs. Therapists may use specialized light or sound devices in addition to eye movement. Regardless of the methods used, EMDR therapy is successful in helping clients overcome trauma.