Oftentimes when seeking out depression treatment people are told that they need to take medication. However, medication may not be appropriate or even necessary in all cases.
What if there was a powerful non-drug treatment that could help?
EMDR for depression could be the answer. It’s a form of therapy that accesses the ability of your brain to process and store information.
That’s critically important because with depression you might have so many troubling or sad memories. These feed your depression, causing you to focus on all of that negativity. And EMDR can help clear things up.
Taking a Closer Look at EMDR
First, let’s take a closer look at what exactly is EMDR. EMDR stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. It is a therapeutic technique where you meet with a trained therapist who knows how to implement it.
When you have a session, the therapist asks you to recall a memory. While you recall the memory, the therapist will initiate bilateral movement, such as passing a finger back-and-forth in front of you or using lights that move left and right. You, in turn, track this movement with your eyes.
The therapist may ask other questions to guide your recall of the memory. However, the idea is that you don’t talk about the memory per se. Rather, you hold it in your mind. As you do, the action of following the movement with your eyes helps your brain to “unpack” the memory and re-store it in your brain without the emotional baggage. Thus, when you recall it the next time, there is less emotional pain associated with it.
How EMDR Works for Depression
With depression, there can be so many painful and distressing memories that hang around in your head.
- Instances of bullying at school
- Reminders that you were somehow “different” growing up
- Things that your parents said or did to you
- Other negative experiences
These memories may be associated with traumatic experiences that you had growing up. Or they are more rooted in your adult life. Either way, they are what fuels your depression.
To address your depression, you need to get to the source of the problem. As you receive EMDR treatment for your depression, those memories begin to resolve themselves. Eventually, you no longer feel as acutely the pain and distress related to those experiences as you once did. Eventually, they just become memories, nothing more.
Rumination and Depression Treatment
One big problem when it comes to depression is what’s called rumination. Rumination is when you are constantly thinking about situations, events, or experiences in your past that were negative. They feed into your depression, which in turn, causes you to ruminate more.
For example, you keep turning over in your head an interaction with your boss at work. Things could have gone better. Yet, instead of trying to look at it in the best possible light, you do the opposite. You go over and over again in your head how that experience reinforced negative perceptions that you had about yourself.
By using EMDR to treat your depression, you can break that cycle of rumination and finally store those memories where they belong—in your long-term memory.
Redefining Perceptions of Yourself
Once those painful memories have been resolved, you can begin to look at yourself in a new light. You begin to change the narrative about who you are, your capabilities, and your strengths/weaknesses.
That’s a very powerful concept when it comes to depression treatment. It’s because depression causes you to feel so dis-empowered. It narrows your view to the point where you don’t realize that you do have the power to change the narrative. You just need some help.
EMDR can be exactly that—an aid to step out of the grasp of depression and into the freedom of being able to live your life again. And all without the use of medication.
EMDR holds the potential to really help with your depression. It is a powerful non-drug treatment that uses your mind to your advantage. To get the full benefit of EMDR therapy, talk to a trained therapist with experience.
If you would like to find out more about how I use EMDR in my approach to depression counseling, please don’t hesitate to contact me.