eye movement desensitization and reprocessing

You may have heard about Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, also known as EMDR.

Perhaps you’ve even thought that it sounds like a really interesting treatment method that seems like it has great potential. However, you may be wondering if it would actually work for you.

So, when should you seriously consider EMDR treatment?

Obviously, EMDR isn’t a “magic bullet” solution to every therapy problem. But it is very effective at treating certain conditions, especially those related to trauma. That’s because it can help with resolving the memories that surround the trauma so that they’re no longer so painful.

If you are wondering whether or not to try EMDR, consider these thoughts.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) for Trauma

One area of treatment where EMDR has shown to be effective is with trauma. Trauma refers to a painful experience, or multiple experiences, that you continue to focus on long after the events have passed.

Examples of traumatic events include:

  • Experiencing an injury or illness
  • Being victim to an act of violence, such as an assault
  • Witnessing violence, such as in war or a car accident
  • Being subjected to emotional abuse by another person over years or even decades

These type of experiences stick with you. They create symptoms that make it very difficult to stay present in the here and now.

Even a small incident, such as hearing a loud noise or seeing a disturbing image, can trigger memories and bring you back to the traumatic experience. In essence, your mind is still stuck in the moment when the trauma occurred. This makes it very difficult to be present and, in many cases, even to function in your everyday life.

EMDR helps you to get unstuck by allowing you to process those memories so that you no longer experience trauma symptoms.

EMDR for Anxiety

Another condition that EMDR treatment can help improve is anxiety.

If you have anxiety, then you know how hard it is to get through the day. Your mind is racing with thoughts about either how to avoid anxiety triggers or how to cope with them if you’re exposed to a trigger. For example, someone who is afraid of germs is always thinking in the back of their minds what to do if they’re exposed to something “dirty.”

As with trauma, anxiety uses up brain energy and can be debilitating for those who have serious anxiety issues. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing can help by allowing you to feel more relaxed during anxiety treatment sessions. You become more open to suggestions which can help you to cope with your anxiety.

Supporting anxiety treatment with EMDR can, in time, lessen the disruptive influence anxiety has on your life.

When Should You Seriously Consider EMDR?

There are a few reasons why you should consider trying the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing treatment method.

The first is, if you are experiencing symptoms that are affecting your quality of life. So, if you cannot get through a typical day without experiencing a trigger from PTSD or anxiety, then it’s time for some serious help.

The second reason is, even if you don’t have daily episodes, you might still be having a lot of trouble with symptoms. Maybe they don’t have a direct impact on your life right now, but they could in the future. Why carry that burden around when you don’t have to?

A third reason to consider EMDR is when other forms of treatment haven’t worked in the past. Perhaps it’s time to shake things up and try something different.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing may not be a cure-all. However, when it comes to trauma and PTSD, EMDR is a great tool for treatment. Even if you don’t think your symptoms really impact your life, it doesn’t hurt to give EMDR a try. The potential EMDR has for resolving past trauma or finding relief from anxiety is well worth it.

If you would like help with trauma or anxiety symptoms, please contact me or learn more about my approach to trauma and PTSD treatment.