Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapy method that can help resolve distressing experiences and memories. EMDR therapy is a empirically proven treatment option that changes the way those experiences or memories are stored in the brain. Controlled studies consistently found that EMDR effectively decreases or eliminate symptoms.
Sometimes when a person experiences a very disturbing event, the brain cannot process the information as it usually does. When this happens, the event becomes trapped in a person’s mind. When we then think about the event, or are reminded on the memory, even subconsciously, we re-experience it in the same way. Any sound, image, smell or feeling can be a reminder of the past event. The negative feelings that come up may interfere with a way the individual sees the world or relates to others. Sometimes negative experiences, memories and traumas that aren’t processed properly can result in increased anxiety, depression, reactivity, nightmares, or feeling triggered.
How does EMDR Work?
Initially, your therapist will work with you to identify disturbing issues or experiences that seem to be locked in the brain. EMDR uses eye movements, auditory or tactile stimulation which actives opposite sides of the brain, both the emotional and intellectual parts of our brain. This bilateral stimulation, similar to the REM sleep cycle, helps to unblocked emotionally charged or negative experiences that are locked in the brain. EMDR works by opening up the neurophysiological system, thereby allowing our brains to access the distressing memory, process the painful memories or experiences so the information can be integrated in a healthy and more productive manner.
Who can do EMDR Therapy?
EMDR therapy can only be administered by a trained therapist The training requires 2 phases of training, in addition to supervised consultation. Certified EMDR Therapists have gone through additional training and supervision beyond the basic training. Please ask your therapist about their qualifications and experience in dealing with your particular issue. EMDR may be used as an adjunct to traditional therapy with a separate therapist or as a treatment by itself.
What problems can EMDR help?
Research has shown EMDR to be helpful resolving these types of problems:
Can EMDR help me?
One or two sessions at the onset of therapy are required to answer questions, identify issues and determine if EMDR is right for you. Once EMDR therapy begins, the amount and types of issues will determine how many sessions are necessary. Your clinician can talk with you more about how this technique might work for you. Please contact our office with any questions or to schedule an initial session to determine if EMDR would be a good fit for you.
EMDR In Action
EMDR International Association
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Edina, MN 55436
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