EMDR therapy: what is it and how effective is it?

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a new psychotherapy used to treat painful symptoms caused by people’s past traumas, or distressing experiences. However, unlike regular psychotherapy, EMDR’s healing process is much shorter. Moreover, there is no need to talk about the traumatic experience in detail or relive it.

What is EMDR therapy?

EMDR therapy is a guided process of moving your eyes (also known as lateral eye movements) toward the therapist’s fingers while processing stressful memories. Some professionals use other sensory stimulation such as hand, arm, lap tapping, and sound stimulation.

like us The brain processes good and bad memories differently – Stores bad memories in a traumatic form, which usually interferes with healthy healing – While accessing and reprocessing the traumatic experience, repairing any psychic wounds that may still be there This process involves recreating new experiences and replacing memories of bad ones with positive ones. EMDR International Association.

Dr. Francine Shapiro developed EMDR therapy in 1989. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)This treatment is based on the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model, also by Shapiro. This is the theory that explains how EMDR therapy helps the brain. Access and process stressful memories.

model is three-step protocol:

  1. Process past traumatic events while connecting with “adaptive information” or new memories.

  2. Focus on the current source of distress while reducing triggers.

  3. Anticipate future (positive) events and support patients with adaptive skills.

Therapists attest to the benefits of EMDR therapy. Over two dozen controlled studies, clinical trials and research papers. For example, according to HMO Kaiser’s Permanente study, conducting his six 50-minute sessions, his 100% of single trauma victims and his 77% of multiple trauma victims freed from PTSD. In other studies, 84-90% of 1-time trauma victims resolved his PTSD with his three 90-minute sessions, and 77% of veterans with 12 sessions resolved his PTSD. has been shown to be free from PTSD.

EMDR therapy was originally created to support victims of trauma (including PTSD), but now professionals use the method. Treatment of multiple conditions.anxietydepression, eating disordersobsessive-compulsive disorders, dissociative disorders, personality disorders, substance abuse, and sexual abuse are the most common examples.

But given that methodical process, how does EMDR therapy work?

8 stages of EMDR therapy

Each EMDR session lasts 60-90 minutes, and several sessions may be needed at each stage, depending on the severity of the trauma and distressing memory. 6-12 total sessionsAs a systematic approach, the therapist guides the patient through eight stages of treatment: history taking, preparation, evaluation, desensitization, installation, body scan, closure, and reassessment. Here’s what happens in each phase.

Phase 1: Get history

This first step involves meeting with a therapist to discuss the history of the problem, including patterns and symptoms. The therapist then develops a detailed plan, focusing on the underlying targets of the condition (disturbing memories, past adverse events, etc.).

Phase 2: Preparation

The clinician prepares for the session by explaining symptoms and offering self-regulating techniques to ensure a smooth treatment session. It helps set expectations.

Phase 3: Evaluation

In Phase 3, you and your therapist select a target memory to focus on during a particular session. The therapist will ask you to find images and negative beliefs that are strongly associated with that memory. The clinician also suggests positive thoughts if appropriate to the subject’s memory. They use the Cognitive Scale of Efficacy (VOC) and the Subjective Disturbance Unit (SUD) scale as baseline measures. The goal is to understand how true the description of the target memory is to you and the level of distress the stored memory causes. This includes physical sensations and emotions that lead to trauma memories.

Phase 4: Desensitization and reprocessing

At this stage, the clinician instructs the target images to focus simultaneously, eye movement (bilateral stimulation) or other sensory stimulation. They then continue with each eye (or other stimulus) and ask them to take a breather and forget what they were focusing on. Second, it helps clinicians understand their feelings, thoughts, and sensations about the experience. Then, based on your response, the specialist may redirect your focus and stimulus length, speed, and type.

Phase 5: Installation

This is when the therapist tells you to focus on the positive images you plan to incorporate. At this point, the positive perceptions should outweigh the negative perceptions. In other words, your therapist should work with you to bring your VOC score to 7 or higher.

Phase 6: Body Scan

The therapist will ask you to scan your body to help you process specific bodily sensations. Again, the idea is to identify and address any remaining reactions caused by the tension of the traumatic event. In this case, the symptoms should subside as the session progresses.

Phase 7: Closure

During this phase, the therapist uses the self-control techniques taught at the beginning of the session to stabilize himself. Also be prepared about what to expect by the next session. Finally, ask them to keep a log of possible distress as potential targets for future sessions.

Phase 8: Reassessment

During this final phase, your therapist and you will evaluate the treatment to ensure its effectiveness and, if necessary, identify other goals for ongoing care.

Why EMDR Is Controversial

Multiple organizations and institutions around the world use EMDR therapy, including the US, UK, Germany, and Australia. The World Health Organization, Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and American Psychiatric Association are just a few of the many organizations that have recognized the effectiveness of his EMDR in treating trauma and tragic events.

Nonetheless, EMDR remains controversial among some medical professionals. Not necessarily for its effectiveness. They know EMDR works. Some studies even show it works faster than most psychotherapy or other types of behavioral therapy. However, there is still no comprehensive information as to why this treatment works—why Shapiro devised his AIP model. So far everything is mostly hypothetical.

Also, compared to other forms of mental health treatment, EMDR is relatively new and more research is needed to understand its long-term efficacy.

So far, no studies have proven the dangers of EMDR therapy. Also, there are no side effects caused by the treatment, but it helps the therapist to deal with possible dark thoughts between sessions. valid. This is why it is so effective for PTSD. In other words, if your disorder is due to a family history rather than a traumatic experience, this treatment may not be right for you.

Professionals recommend seeking the help of a trained and licensed mental health provider to assess the need for this type of treatment or the treatment that is most appropriate for the situation.

read more: Brave New World of DIY Shock Therapy

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