EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing)
What is EMDR Therapy?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma.
EMDR encourages the person to briefly focus on the upsetting memory while engaging in dual awareness/bilateral stimulation (typically eye movements). Unlike other cognitive therapies, EMDR allows the brain to resume its natural healing process.
EMDR is integrated with a variety of treatment approaches i.e DBT, CBT, Play Therapy etc. EMDR is an 8 phase protocol within a three prong system within an adaptive information process.
How does EMDR work?
EMDR therapy is an integrative psychotherapy and uses a technique called bilateral stimulation or dual awareness to repeatedly activate opposite sides of the brain. (Therapists often use eye movements to facilitate the bilateral stimulation.)
For a more detailed explanation please visit EMDR Institute, Inc.
What does EMDR help?
EMDR is helpful because it is client-centered. Meaning, advice giving is not what the EMDR therapist does. Processing through traumatic memories helps all people experience a sense of connection and repair with themselves and others.
EMDR had been originally established as helpful for PTSD, although it’s been proven useful for treatment in the following conditions:
- Panic Attacks & anxiety
- Complicated Grief & loss
- Dissociative Orders
- Chronic Illness and medical issues
- Depression and Bipolar
- Performance Anxiety
- Addictions & substance use
- Stress Reduction
- Sexual and/or Physical Abuse
- Body Dysmorphic Disorders/Eating Disorders
- Personality Disorders
- sleep disturbance
- violence and abuse
None of the above symptoms or experiences fit you?
Do you experience distressing emotions that appear to you, and perhaps to others, to be excessive given the current situation? Do you tend to be highly reactive to certain triggers? Is there one or more dysfunctional belief that you believe about yourself that on an intellectual level you know is not true?
If so, you may still be a good candidate for EMDR therapy.
Contact me today for a free phone consultation to see if EMDR might help you release what no longer serves you.
EMDR and Children
Avoidance is often a symptom of trauma and many children and teens develop a phobia to the trauma.
Children and teens who have experienced trauma have difficulty verbally processing memories, and are often physiologically activated (think energetic, hyper, inability to be still).
Play Therapy creates a safe therapeutic space for reprocessing traumatic memories (or bad things that happen). It uses the language of the right hemisphere (symbols, metaphors, stories, etc). It access the early experiences of adversity in a way the cognitive mind is not able to.
At Waves, our Play Therapist uses play and expressive arts with EMDR to provide an engaging experience which makes EMDR more palatable for children and teens. For children and teens who tend to dissociate (think space out, zone out etc.), it helps them to remain present.
Integrating EMDR into play therapy helps the child to move towards the “bad” memories in a way which feel’s safe and allows healing. The integration allows for earlier processing even when the child has not fully acknowledged the traumatic events.
Caregivers and Families
Most parent’s/caregivers want to be the best for their child. Caregiver’s are often included in the EMDR Therapy as they can help with the reprocessing and integration of trauma content.
When a caregiver is able to attune and co-regulate, the child/teen learns to self-regulate. Caregivers provide a source of comfort, and the ability to rebuild trust in self and others.
Caregivers are able to provide a more enjoyable experience of the process and a quicker sense of felt safety.
We all know children do not exist within a bubble.
For more information about About Play Therapy