EMDR therapy is a phased, focused approach to treating traumatic and other symptoms by reconnecting the client in a safe and measured way to the images, self-thoughts, emotions, and body sensations associated with the trauma , and allowing the natural healing powers of the brain to move toward adaptive resolution.
At first glance, EMDR appears to approach psychological issues in an unusual way. It does not rely on talk therapy or medications. Instead, EMDR uses a patient’s own rapid, rhythmic eye movements . These eye movements dampen the power of emotionally charged memories of past traumatic events.
EMDR has also been found to effectively treat other mood and anxiety disorders, including depression, phobias, and panic disorder. EMDR is particularly effective for treating panic disorder, panic attacks, and agoraphobia when past traumatic experiences are contributing to your current symptoms.
EMDR is an individual therapy typically delivered one to two times per week for a total of 6-12 sessions , although some people benefit from fewer sessions.
Evidence of effectiveness A 2002 meta-analysis concluded that EMDR is not as effective, or as long lasting, as traditional exposure therapy. A 2005 and a 2006 meta-analysis each suggested that traditional exposure therapy and EMDR have equivalent effects immediately after treatment and at follow-up.
There are eight phases to EMDR therapy: initial history discovery and treatment planning, preparation , assessment , desensitization, installation, body scan, closure , and then reevaluation.
EMDR therapy is considered to be safe, with many fewer side effects than those of prescription medications. That said, there are some side effects that you may experience. EMDR therapy causes a heightened awareness of thinking which does not end immediately when a session does . This can cause light-headedness.
Is Do It Yourself EMDR Possible? The short answer: partially. It is possible to learn how to cope with the anxiety and distress that comes up from experiencing a traumatic memory. Being able to handle these moments effectively can help in your recovery process.
So what can you, the client, do to begin to prepare for EMDR ? Know your support system. Engage in some kind of stress reducing body movement each day. Try to get into the habit of taking ten minutes each day to practice breathing exercises or meditation. Try to start a gratitude journal.
Because stability must come first, you don’t use EMDR to process trauma when a patient is actively abusively using alcohol, drugs, or something to help them feel less. You can’t effectively practice EMDR phases 3 – 8 with someone who has yet to experience a safe, trusting relationship.
Abstract. EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) is a new psychological treatment for trauma that is capable of facilitating rapid and permanent reduction in distressing thoughts and feelings (Carlson et al.
EMDR is a relatively new integrative psychotherapy. It is an evidence-based practice that has been shown to have an 80 percent success rate with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Some therapists may charge as much as $200 or more per session , but most will charge $75-$150 a session .
If your policy covers standard psychotherapy, it most likely will cover EMDR . Currently, EMDRIA is working towards establishing a specific EMDR code for insurance reimbursement.
“ EMDR Therapy changes maladaptive neural networks by connecting the traumatic memory with new information. The distressing thoughts and emotions are blended with new positive thoughts and emotions; embodied awareness allows frozen sensations in the body to resolve through healing movements.”