Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy
Trauma-Centered Solutions to Achieve Healing, Change, and Growth
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) helps individuals heal from the symptoms and emotional distress of unprocessed trauma and disturbing life experiences. EMDR is a powerful method for helping a client gain a sense of control and empowerment over themselves and their lives. When left unmanaged, unresolved traumas can cause you to feel out of control of your own emotional reactions. EMDR gives you back the control.
EMDR therapy is an extensively researched, effective method proven to help people recover from a variety of mental health concerns, including anxiety, panic disorders, depression, and PTSD. If you or a loved one are dealing with the effects of trauma, you do not have to face this challenging time alone. We’re here to help.
In 1987, Dr. Francine Shapiro developed a powerful method of psychotherapy called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Since then, EMDR has helped an estimated 2 million people of all ages to recover from trauma and experience relief from many types of psychological distress. Although EMDR was originally developed for the treatment of trauma, is has also been found to be effective in the treatment of:
- attachment-related childhood issues
- panic attacks
- complicated grief
- disturbing memories
- stress and anxiety reduction
- performance anxiety
- and more
How Does EMDR Work?
When a person experiences a very upsetting event or trauma, their brain struggles to process information. Later on, after the upsetting event, memories, emotions, and sensory experiences from that traumatic event may feel neurologically and emotionally “stuck” within a person. When this moment is vividly remembered, it’s as if you’re reliving an experience for the first time. Individuals may find themselves returning to those memories repeatedly, even though they would rather forget them. They may also overreact to situations that remind them of the original event in some way, however minimal.
EMDR harnesses the brain’s natural ability to heal, helps to desensitize individuals to trauma and other difficult experiences, and helps to associate positive beliefs about themselves. EMDR therapy consists of eight phases conducted during 60 to 90-minute sessions. Single event traumas, such as a car accident, may require a minimal number of sessions. Long-term trauma and multiple traumatic events require a longer time commitment and an extensive focus on strengths, resources, and coping skills.
During treatment, participants recall their traumatic experiences while moving their eyes back and forth under the direction of their therapist. The aim is to allow individuals to process and integrate their traumatic memories into their standard memories. The theory behind EMDR is grounded on the concept that remembering times of distress while distracted is less upsetting. Over time, exposure to these memories should reduce their effect. When a memory has been successfully cleared, you still remember the event, but it is less upsetting.
How do I know if EMDR is Right for Me?
The decision to pursue EMDR is a collaborative process between the therapist and client. Once the therapist and client have both agreed that EMDR is appropriate for a problem, decisions can be made about when to begin EMDR within the therapy format.
Several criteria are used when assessing readiness for EMDR treatment. EMDR treatment can only begin when a client:
- is committed to treatment
- has a basic level of emotional and physical safety and stability
- is free from self-harming behavior
- has some form of consistent support system outside of therapy
- is able to tolerate relatively high levels of emotion
- is able to use guided visualization for safety, protection, and nurturing.
Helping You Live Your Best Life
At The Juniper Center, we understand it takes courage to ask for help, and you don’t have to face your fear alone. There is a life beyond your trauma. Using a combination of techniques at the forefront of neurological science and compassionate care, we empower our clients to live their best lives – free of excess worry, panic, and fear. Our team of mental health professionals leverages their extensive experience and training to create individualized treatment plans to help our clients reach their professional, personal, and mental health goals.
What matters to you, matters to us. Contact a member of our team to schedule your no-obligation consultation today. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you on your journey.