If you suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, you are not alone. Many people who encounter a traumatic situation will have emotion fallout from the experience. If your anxiety feels out of control and you are constantly feeling stressed out, EMDR might be a great treatment to consider to help ease your symptoms. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, and it is a therapeutic intervention that helps people heal from trauma. While it once took years to recover emotionally from a traumatic experience, EMDR has been shown to reduce healing times dramatically. Therapists must be trained in EMDR techniques in order for this type of treatment to be effective.
How EMDR Treatments are Provided
EMDR is a treatment that occurs over several weeks or months, and follows a series of 8 phases.The first phase is to gather information regarding the client's history and identify the traumatic event or events that have caused PTSD to develop. The therapist will work closely with the patient, listening for events and determining which memories to target first. This can be a short process if there was one traumatic event identified, or it can take longer as a person suffering from PTSD may have had a traumatic upbringing.
Bilateral Stimulation and EMDR
The patient will identify an image associated with the memory, any negative feelings about their being, and the emotions that come up when thinking about the memory. As the therapist and patient talk about the traumatic event, the therapist will begin producing bilateral stimulation. This can be as simple as the therapist tapping the left then right hand of the individual, going back and forth as the conversation goes on. The bilateral stimulation is thought to decrease anxiety, make the trauma memory more manageable, and distance the patient from the memory itself.
Considerations for Patients with PTSD
While EMDR doesn't hurt and does not require the use of medications, the patient must be ready for this type of treatment in order for it to be effective. People who have not developed any coping skills regarding the trauma won't be able to maintain the wellness they need to in between sessions. Patients suffering from mental illness in addition to PTSD may not be good candidates for the technique. The therapist and patient should work closely together to determine the nature of the trauma, and the patient's ability to handle talking about it at this time. Talk to a center like Trauma Counseling that specializes in EMDR counseling to help you decide if this therapy is right for you.