In Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy you will focus on a memory while at the same time experiencing bilateral stimulation. This can be done through eye movements, tapping, or sound which activates both hemispheres of the brain. Your experience in the session determines the pace of the EMDR, and your psychologist assists in guiding you as you process painful memories. You will also work with your therapist to find the method of bilateral stimulation that works best for you. In EMDR you focus on the emotions, body sensations, and negative thoughts that you experience as you recall the distressing issue. EMDR is based on the assumption that reprocessing these aspects of your experience allows your brain to return to its natural healing and healthy functioning. As the therapy continues, you will experience changes in the emotions, body sensations, and negative thoughts and beliefs about yourself which were previously distressing to you.
EMDR Therapy Can Help With:
- Panic Attacks
- Chronic Illness, medical issues, and pain
- Eating disorders
- Performance anxiety
- Trauma and PTSD
- Sleep disturbance
- Substance abuse
EMDR was developed by psychologist Dr. Francine Shapiro and was initially seen as a treatment approach to decrease distress about traumatic memories. Since its creation, EMDR therapy has been used to help clients not only with trauma and PTSD but with the concerns listed above.
Dr. Martha Womack, licensed psychologist, provides EMDR at Best Within You Therapy & Wellness. She brings 30 years of experience providing therapy and is an EMDR certified therapist. She has gone through extensive training to be able to provide EMDR therapy.
Frequently Asked Questions About EMDR
Q:How is EMDR different from traditional therapy?
A: Traditional talk therapy can involve discussing previously distressing life events and exploring ways to develop new and different ways of thinking about and interpreting these events. New behaviors are suggested to assist in changing typical patterns of thinking about yourself and your experiences. In EMDR therapy, there is much less talking about an issue. You are not asked to talk about the details of difficult situations. This is important to know if you feel fearful going to therapy and talking about a certain event or situation. The focus in EMDR is on the client’s current sense of self and the use of bilateral stimulation (done through eye movements, tapping, or sound which activates both hemispheres of the brain) while remembering previous experiences.
Q:How does EMDR help?
A: As reprocessing occurs, you can begin to experience a decrease in the level of distress you feel. You also begin to feel changes in your emotions, physical sensations, and negative thoughts and beliefs.
Q: What are the stages of EMDR therapy?
A: EMDR therapy involves an 8 phase process. The eight phases are 1) history taking and treatment planning, 2) preparation, 3) assessment, 4) desensitization, 5) installation, 6) body scan, 7) closure and 8) reevaluation.
Q: Does EMDR work?
A: EMDR is extensively researched. The following organizations, along with many others, recognize it as effective treatment: American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the U.K. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs/Dept. of Defense, and the World Health Organization. Here is a video about EMDR and how it works.
If you are interested in EMDR you are welcome to set up a complimentary phone consultation.