Benefits of EMDR
EMDR has 25 years of wide usage by psychologists in the treatment of loved ones with mental challenges. Developed by Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s, EMDR therapy has evolved beyond treating people with traumatic memories, panic disorders, and PTSD while also showing improvement in patients with anxiety disorders that limit a whole experience of life. Francine believed that every person has the innate capacity to process data and learn from their experiences.
Today, EMDR is also used to treat chronic pain, phobias, performance anxiety, stress, depression, self-harm, and anger and alleviate psychological stress.
Through a broader process called exposure and cognition, EMDR therapy involves guided eye movements, back and forth, while discussions on distressing or traumatic experiences are explored with a trained professional. The theory behind this is that remembering times of distress while distracted over time allows those memories to have a reduced effect on patients. The therapy enables trauma to recondition into standard memories.
How it works
Through confirmed clinical findings, EMDR has been validated as an effective therapeutic treatment for mental trauma by introducing dual tasks that mainly involve guided eye movements, as the traumatic experiences are explored. Improper processing of traumatic experiences in the brain causes the development of anxiety-related disorders. The rapid eye movements/ dual tasks enable the brain to process these memories correctly and, in a manner, allows compartmentalization in the patients’ memory.
EMDR therapy manipulates maladaptive neural transmitters by linking traumatic memories with new information. The distressing emotions and thoughts blend with acquired positive feelings and thoughts. The new awareness allows still sensations in your body to unravel through healing movements.
How will I benefit from EMDR?
There are many hypotheses around the efficiency of EMDR therapy.
- EMDR is believed to enhance Dual Attention Stimulation (DAS), responsible for taxing working memory. DAS disrupts one’s ability to focus on the troubles associated with traumatic occurrences.
- Bi-lateral eye movements imitate Rapid Eye Movements (REM) sleep. During REM sleep, communication across the right and left hemispheres of the brain is enhanced.
- Dual Attention Stimulation (DAS) rhythms generated during EMDR therapy activate the thalamus and cerebellum of the brain. When these parts of the brain are stimulated, information processing is enhanced throughout your brain.
- DAS also activates the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). The ACC links the lower brain cores to the upper brain cores. When these cores are activated, one experience relief from the overwhelming feelings and symptoms that accompany post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- DAS enhances orienting response, which is a reflex that draws one’s attention to different stimuli. The orienting answer enables you to perceive the current environment and decide that no current threats exist. It helps you to assess and integrate information that can alter emotionally charged memories.
Ideally, as you continue with your EMDR sessions, you will find that you’re better able to make spontaneous new discernments. You also feel less overwhelmed as you recollect facets of a chosen target. Think about unpleasant memories related to your trauma get easier with time, and these memories have no power or influence over you. This is an indication that healing is taking place.
The Effectiveness of EMDR
Studies have shown that EMDR therapy has more positive than adverse effects, and it almost always helps individuals struggling with PTSD and addiction to go through recovery.
In some instances, people have managed to get rid of the symptoms of PTSD after going through as few as three sessions. Organizations such as the APA, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the WHOTrusted Source recommend EMDR for PTSD treatment.
Many studies have also indicated that EMDR therapy is more effective than cognitive-behavioral therapy when treating trauma. Research also suggests that EMDR is also efficient in treating many other mental health illnesses. For instance, it has been used in treating patients who have psychosis such as delusions, hallucinations, depression, anxiety, and self-esteem issues.
Some health professionals believe that the profits of EMDR last long after treatment. Studies have shown that EMDR patients rarely experience relapse.
What Side Effects will I get from EMDR?
EMDR is a generally safe treatment, and the side effects experienced are not as harsh as what you would get from taking medications.
Moreover, the effects of EMDR are felt long after treatment is completed. Because EMDR is practiced in conjunction with other forms of psychotherapy, there are some expected side effects. They include:
- Increased distress from resurging traumatic memories
- Heightened physical and emotional sensations during treatment
- Vivid dreams
- Experiencing a surge in new traumatic memories
These symptoms usually resolve after treatment. You must share your symptoms with your therapist to help you alleviate the symptoms and create new memories.
Where can I get EMDR Treatment?
If you consider getting EMDR treatment, it is best to get all the information about this form of therapy and what to expect. Talk to your doctor so that they can advise if this form of treatment is ideal for you.
While EMDR therapy is relatively new, it is quickly gaining popularity, and we now have more and more health facilities providing the treatment. Your health provider can help you identify the best facility for you, depending on affordability and suitability.
While EMDR has proven effective in treating addictions, it is essential to note that your therapist will probably integrate other modes of treatment depending on the severity of the addiction.
A crucial part of EMDR treatment involves revisiting past traumatic memories, and this can cause a lot of distress for most patients. It would be best if you talked to your therapist every step of the way so that they can help you deal with the overwhelming emotions that emerge during treatment.
While the benefits of EMDR last long after treatment, it is essential to take other precautions to prevent a relapse.