EMDR Therapy for Trauma
What is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR is an 8 phase treatment that affects your past, present, and future. Have you ever experienced something negative, that may not even be considered a “big deal,” but it continues to bother you in some way, shape, or form? That is what we call a “maladaptive memory.” This memory, experience, situation, etc. was processed in a way in which your body still feels, in a sense, traumatized. Even if you “know” that it does not make logical sense for your thoughts, feelings, or body to respond in that way, it still does because the memory is essentially frozen in that moment and frozen in a more activated part of your brain. EMDR does not erase the memory, rather it reprocesses it so that it is more integrated and less jarring. It helps the “stuck” memory become “unstuck”
Who can benefit from EMDR?
Although initially created as a trauma treatment, EMDR is recognized as beneficial beyond just treatment of PTSD and can be used for a variety of mental health issues. Furthermore, what is considered “trauma” is highly dependent upon the person experiencing it. Trauma is simply a stressful event that then causes a person to be continually reacting out of that past event, even though they are not in the stress anymore. This can present in many different ways such as social anxiety, depression, phobias, etc.
For example, if a teen is relatively well-adjusted, but suddenly experienced a highly stressful event, we can use EMDR to process that one event in the present and prevent it from creating continuous negative memory networks. EMDR can help everyone from those who have had many adverse experiences in childhood, to stressful events that just “stuck,” to even those who have just had their first highly upsetting experience.