Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)

What is EMDR?

EMDR therapy focuses on the individual’s present concerns. The EMDR approach believes that past emotionally-charged experiences are overly influencing your present emotions, sensations and thoughts about yourself.
EMDR processing helps you break through the emotional blocks that are keeping you from living an adaptive, emotionally healthy life.

EMDR uses rapid sets of eye movements to help you update disturbing experiences, much like what occurs when we sleep. During sleep, we alternate between regular sleep and REM (rapid eye movement). This sleep pattern helps you process things that are troubling you.

EMDR replicates this sleep pattern by alternating between sets of eye movements and brief reports about what you are noticing. This alternating process helps you update your memories to a healthier present perspective.

What is different about EMDR?

EMDR focuses on the brain’s ability to constantly learn, taking past experiences, and updating them with present information. It uses a set of procedures to organize your negative and positive feelings, emotions, and thoughts, and then uses bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements or alternating tapping, as the way to help you effectively work through those disturbing memories.

How many sessions will it take?

The number of sessions will depend upon the specific problem and the client history. However, repeated, controlled studies have shown that a single trauma can be processed within 3 sessions in 80-90% of the participants. While every event need not be processed, the amount of therapy will depend upon the complexity of the history. In a controlled study, 80% of multiple trauma victims no longer had PTSD after approximately 6 hours of treatment. A study of combat veterans reported that after 12 sessions, 77% no longer had post-traumatic stress disorder.

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