What is EMDR Therapy?
Are you looking for a way to manage your anxiety or trauma? Do you feel stuck in your current therapy? Have you found that traditional therapy hasn’t been helpful for you? If so, you may have heard about Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. EMDR has become popular in the mental health field, but what exactly is it, how does it work, and how can it help you?
To understand how EMDR works, it is helpful to understand different forms of trauma. As well as how trauma is stored in our bodies, and its impact on us. Trauma can be a difficult thing to face. Many people find it hard to talk about, or even think about, the traumatic events they have experienced. It can take many forms, from major life events (Big T traumas) to everyday microaggressions (or little t traumas).
Big T Trauma
Big T traumas are life-altering and can have long-term emotional or psychological effects. Examples of Big T traumas include physical or emotional abuse, natural disasters, war, terrorism, or the death of a loved one. These events can cause feelings of fear, shock, guilt, and/or sadness that can be difficult to cope with.
Little t Trauma
Many of us have had moments of feeling ignored or rejected or losing a loved one. Some may face financial worries, relationship conflicts, or job insecurity. These little t traumas can have a lasting effect. Whether it’s public humiliation, betrayal, or being undervalued in your job, these insignificant moments can cause serious damage to our mental health, self-esteem, relationships, and even physical health. It’s important to recognize the impact of these traumas, even if they seem small.
Trauma is stored in the brain in various ways, depending on the individual person’s experience and the type of trauma involved. It can manifest as physical symptoms, such as headaches, nausea, and fatigue. It can also manifest as emotional symptoms, such as depression, increased anxiety, and PTSD. Trauma can also be experienced through behavior, such as avoidance or disassociation. All of these reactions to trauma are natural responses to a traumatic event and can be addressed and healed with tools, like EMDR.
What Is EMDR and How Does It Work?
EMDR is a powerful form of therapy designed to help you process traumatic memories and reduce associated distress. EMDR focuses on the idea that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are linked. Through EMDR, you can take control of past traumas. You can transform them into meaningful experiences that strengthen you against future trauma.
The process of EMDR is both complex and simple. It is designed to help you access and process your thoughts and feelings in a safe, secure environment. EMDR provides you with the tools to better manage your emotions in the future. It is based on the idea that when a person is exposed to a traumatic event, the memory of the event can become “stuck” in the brain and can cause lasting psychological distress.
The EMDR technique works by using bilateral stimulation (usually eye movements, sounds, or tactile stimulation) in combination with cognitive therapy. This is to help you access the traumatic memory and reprocess it so that it can be released. The movements of the eyes help to stimulate the brain. This allows you to access the memory in a different way, facilitating healing.
An EMDR Session
Ready to learn what an EMDR session looks like? After a few sessions to assess and build your resources, you’ll work with your therapist to determine which traumatic event or experience you’d like to process. Then, you’ll recall the memory while your therapist guides your eye movements. Your therapist will also encourage you to focus on your emotions, beliefs, and physical sensations. All things associated with your memory. When focusing on the memory, your therapist will help you process it in a new way, until the memory is no longer emotionally charged.
Who Is a Candidate For EMDR?
Candidates for EMDR therapy are those who have experienced a traumatic event. Those who are struggling to cope with the associated feelings. People who have difficulty managing feelings of fear, guilt, or shame; difficulty concentrating; and/or intrusive thoughts or flashbacks may benefit from EMDR therapy.
What Are The Benefits of EMDR?
Many advantages come with EMDR. It can be useful in decreasing or eradicating the signs and symptoms of PTSD, fear, depression, and anxiety stemming from a traumatic experience. Also, EMDR can help lower the intensity of both physical and psychological reactions to triggers that could lead to continuous distress.
At Thought Partners, our clients have reported that EMDR has helped them to better understand the consequences of distressing encounters they have had. It has supported them in recognizing and confronting any unhelpful convictions they may have formed as a result of these encounters. After EMDR treatment, clients have expressed a more positive outlook. They feel more in control of their feelings, and better able to manage difficult circumstances. Other lasting advantages have included expanded self-regard, access to new and successful coping abilities, decreased pressure, improved rest, better focus, and improved connections.
EMDR is a powerful tool for those struggling with the effects of trauma. To try this form of therapy, we have qualified therapists at Thought Partners who are able to guide you through the process. We are currently offering EMDR therapy both in person in the Bay Area as well as virtually throughout California. Please contact us today to meet with a qualified therapist.
Begin EMDR Therapy in Marin County, CA
If you are struggling with trauma, don’t wait to get help. No matter the trauma our team at Thought Partners is here to provide you with support and guidance in a safe space to help you learn the coping skills needed to manage your trauma symptoms. Follow these three simple steps to start:
- Contact us to schedule an appointment
- Meet with one of our caring EMDR therapists
- Begin your journey to healing your past trauma.
Other Services Offered At Thought Partners
At Thought Partners, we know mental health can be challenging, we want to support you in any way we can. In addition to EMDR therapy, our team offers child therapy, teen therapy, and individual therapy for adults. Our services also include grief therapy and couples therapy. We specialize in reproductive health and fertility therapy, postpartum depression and anxiety therapy, and therapy for new mothers. Thought Partners also offers online therapy in the state of California. For more about us check out our blog and FAQs!