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An Introduction to EMDR Therapy:

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

Unlocking Healing with Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing


Sensory areas of the brain


EMDR therapy (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) is a powerful therapy used to treat a range of psychological issues, including trauma, anxiety, depression, and phobias. EMDR therapy is based on the idea that traumatic memories can be processed and integrated into the brain, allowing a person to move on from the trauma and experience healing. In this blog article, we'll explore what EMDR therapy is, how it works, and how it can be used to treat a range of psychological issues.


What is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR is an acronym for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing. It is a therapy that helps people process traumatic memories and experiences, allowing them to move on from the trauma and experience healing. EMDR therapy is based on the idea that the brain can naturally process traumatic memories, and that eye movements can be used to help facilitate this process.


EMDR therapy was developed in the late 1980s by Francine Shapiro, a psychologist and researcher. The therapy has since become a widely used and accepted method of psychological treatment. It is now used to treat a range of psychological issues, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, phobias, and more.


History of EMDR Therapy

EMDR therapy was developed in 1987 by Francine Shapiro, a psychologist and researcher. After experiencing a traumatic event, Shapiro found that her symptoms began to decrease when she moved her eyes back and forth in a particular pattern. She began to study this phenomenon, and eventually developed a method of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing.


Since its development, EMDR therapy has become a widely accepted and used form of therapy. It has been used to treat a range of psychological issues, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and phobias. The therapy has been found to be particularly effective for treating PTSD, with research showing that it is one of the most effective forms of treatment for the condition.


How Does EMDR Work?

EMDR therapy works by helping a person process and integrate traumatic memories and experiences. The therapy involves the use of eye movements, as well as other techniques, such as tapping and auditory stimulation, to help a person work through the trauma.


During the therapy, the therapist will guide the person through a series of steps. These steps include helping the person to identify the traumatic memory, working through the emotions associated with the memory, and processing the memory in a way that allows the person to move on from the trauma.


8 Phases of EMDR Therapy

EMDR therapy consists of 8 phases, which are designed to help the person work through the trauma. The 8 phases are:

1. History Taking - During this phase, the therapist will take a detailed history of the person's life, including any traumatic events that may have occurred. This helps the therapist to better understand the person's situation, and to identify the memories and experiences that may need to be processed.

2. Preparation - During this phase, the therapist will help the person to prepare for the EMDR therapy. This includes teaching the person relaxation techniques, as well as helping them to identify any resources they may need during the therapy.

3. Assessment - During this phase, the therapist will assess the person's symptoms and determine which memories and experiences need to be processed.

4. Desensitization - During this phase, the therapist will help the person to process the traumatic memories and experiences. This is done using eye movements, as well as other techniques, such as tapping and auditory stimulation.

5. Installation - During this phase, the therapist will help the person to install new and positive beliefs and ideas. This helps the person to move on from the trauma and to experience healing.

6. Body Scan - During this phase, the therapist will conduct a body scan to assess how the person's body is responding to the therapy.

7. Closure - During this phase, the therapist will help the person to end the session. This helps the person to transition back to everyday life.

8. Re-evaluation - During this phase, the therapist will re-evaluate the person's symptoms, and determine if further sessions are needed.


How to Find an EMDR Therapist

If you are interested in finding an EMDR therapist, it is important to do your research and make sure that the therapist is qualified and experienced. You should also check to see if the therapist is licensed and certified in EMDR therapy, as this will ensure that the therapist is knowledgeable about the therapy and can provide the best possible care.


There are a number of websites and directories that can help you find an EMDR therapist in your area. You can also ask your doctor for a referral, or contact your local mental health organization for more information.


The Benefits of EMDR Therapy

EMDR therapy has been found to be an effective form of treatment for a range of psychological issues. It has been found to be particularly effective for treating PTSD, with research showing that it is one of the most effective forms of treatment for the condition.


Other benefits of EMDR therapy include:

· It can help to reduce symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, depression, and phobias.

· It can help to improve relationships and interpersonal skills.

· It can help to reduce stress and improve overall mental health.

· It can help to reduce negative emotions, such as anger and guilt.

· It can help to increase self-confidence and self-esteem.


EMDR Treatment of PTSD

EMDR therapy has been found to be particularly effective for treating PTSD. Research has shown that it is one of the most effective forms of treatment for the condition.


In EMDR therapy, the therapist will help the person to process the traumatic memories and experiences. This is done using eye movements, as well as other techniques, such as tapping and auditory stimulation.


The therapist will also help the person to install new and positive beliefs and ideas. This helps the person to move on from the trauma and to experience healing.


Challenges of EMDR Therapy

While EMDR therapy has been found to be an effective form of treatment for a range of psychological issues, there are also some challenges associated with the therapy. These include:

· It can be difficult to access an experienced EMDR therapist.

· It can be difficult to find the time and resources to participate in EMDR therapy.

· It can be difficult to access the necessary equipment, such as eye movement devices.

· It can be difficult to process the traumatic memories and experiences.

· It can be difficult to follow the 8 phases of EMDR therapy.


EMDR and Other Therapies

EMDR therapy can be used in conjunction with other forms of therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), and exposure therapy.


These therapies can help to increase the effectiveness of EMDR therapy, as they can help the person to process the traumatic memories and experiences in a more structured way. They can also help the person to identify and address any underlying issues that may be contributing to the symptoms.


Conclusion

EMDR therapy is a powerful therapy that can help people to process and integrate traumatic memories and experiences. It is based on the idea that the brain can naturally process traumatic memories, and that eye movements can be used to help facilitate this process. The therapy has been found to be particularly effective for treating PTSD, and can also be used to treat a range of other psychological issues, such as anxiety, depression, and phobias.


If you are interested in trying EMDR therapy, it is important to do your research and make sure that the therapist is qualified and experienced. You can also consider using EMDR therapy in conjunction with other forms of therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, and exposure therapy.


For more information on EMDR therapy, please visit our website and contact us for a free consultation. We are here to help you unlock the healing power of EMDR therapy.

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