Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR therapy is offered at SHAW Center for Healing in Austin, TX.
EMDR is an 8-phase approach to psychotherapy that is internationally recognized as an empirically-supported treatment. This treatment modality requires significant training and practice to ensure the fidelity and safety of the process. Scientific research has shown the EMDR is effective not only for trauma, but has been shown to be successful in helping clients deal with the following issues as well:
EMDR is a research-based therapy with over 20 years of scientific validation. The practice guidelines of the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association and the Department of Veterans Affairs and Defense (2004) have placed EMDR in the highest category of effectiveness. You can read more specific research citation and information at www.emdr.com, www.emdria.org, and www.traumacenter.org.
What is an EMDR Session like?
EMDR utilizes the natural healing ability of your body. After a thorough assessment and sufficient resourcing (grounding skills, building safety, stability and trust), you will be asked specific questions about a particular disturbing memory. We will discuss particular beliefs that may have arose surrounding that memory and what feelings and emotions come up surrounding the memory. Eye movements, similar to those during REM sleep will be recreated simply by asking you to watch the therapist's fingers moving backwards and forwards across your visual field. The eye movements will last for a short while and then stop. You will then be asked to report back to your therapist what you experienced during these eye movements. Sometimes, clients will report different perspectives, bodily sensations, feelings, or new thoughts/details about the memory. Experiences differ for everyone but often include changes in thoughts, beliefs, images, and feelings.
With repeated sets of eye movements, the memory tends to change in such a way that it loses its painful intensity and simply becomes a neutral memory of a event in the past that does not have the same “charge” or “triggering” feelings associated with it.
Its important to know that EMDR does not facilitate clients in forgetting painful memories, you will remember the event, the hope is that is will not have the same emotional intensity or physiological symptoms that it may have previously been associated with the memory.
An added bonus is that other memories that may have attributed to the same negative belief (such as I’m not good enough or I’m a bad person) may also heal as well. This linking of related memories can lead to a dramatic and rapid improvement in many aspects of your life.
The last part of EMDR is installing future templates. This will help you to deal more effectively with difficult events in the future. We cannot always protect ourselves from these types of traumatic incidences, but we can work on improving our resiliency and ability to move forward in a healthy way. EMDR facilitates deep and lasting change. It creates a re-wiring that allows your mind-body-spirit to strengthen and heal.
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