EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITIZATION AND REPROCESSING (EMDR)

Non-Invasive, Evidence-Based Treatment in Colorado Springs

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A Revolutionary Approach to Recovery

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy, people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy in just a few sessions, rather than years. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes.

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EMDR has been used treat a variety of psychological conditions, including:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Addiction
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Chronic pain
  • Eating disorders
  • Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
  • Psychosis
  • Panic attacks
  • And more

How Does EMDR Work?

EMDR therapy facilitates adaptive information processing. Through EMDR therapy, patients are able to reprocess traumatic information until it is no longer psychologically disruptive and in a way that leads to a peaceful resolution. This often results in increased insight regarding both previously disturbing events and long held negative thoughts about the self. For example, an assault victim may come to realize that she was not to blame for what happened, that the event is really over, and, as a result he can regain a general sense of safety in his world.

What Does a Typical EMDR Session Look Like?

During an EMDR session, an individual will revisit an emotionally disturbing memory in brief sequential doses while focusing on external stimuli, such as a moving point of light (direct lateral eye movements), hand-tapping, or audio stimulation. This external stimuli helps to attenuate any overwhelming psychological and physiological effects that would normally prevent the patients from revisiting the memory, since traumatic memories are often less upsetting to think about when one’s attention is partially diverted.

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How Long Does EMDR Take?

The amount of time the complete treatment will take depends upon the history of the client. Treatment sessions consist of three parts: 1) past memories, 2) present disturbance, and 3) future actions. These are needed to alleviate the symptoms and address the complete clinical picture. The goal of EMDR therapy is to process completely the experiences that are causing problems, and to include new ones that are needed for full health. EMDR therapy consists of 8 phases: 1) clinical assessment; 2) grounding techniques; 3-6) processing; 7) closure and 8) reevaluation. “

Processing” does not mean talking about it. “Processing” means setting up a learning state that will allow experiences that are causing problems to be “digested” and stored appropriately in your brain. That means that what is useful to you from an experience will be learned, and stored with appropriate emotions in your brain, and be able to guide you in positive ways in the future. The inappropriate emotions, beliefs, and body sensations will be discarded. Negative emotions, feelings and behaviors are generally caused by unresolved earlier experiences that are pushing you in the wrong directions. The goal of EMDR therapy is to leave you with the emotions, understanding, and perspectives that will lead to healthy and useful behaviors and interactions.

Is EMDR Effective?

Many independent and controlled studies have shown that EMDR is an effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There is also promising new evidence that EMDR can help treat other mental health issues, as well. For instance, a 2015 study of 32 people suffering from depression found that EMDR helped 68% achieve full remission.

A variety of esteemed domestic and international mental health organizations have officially recommended EMDR as an effective mental health treatment. These include:

  • American Psychiatric Association (APA)

  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

  • World Health Organization (WHO)

  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Find Freedom from Overwhelming Emotions

The Family Care Center has many providers trained and certified in EMDR therapy and are ready to assist you with your recovery. Schedule an appointment to begin healing today.