Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a common treatment choice for individuals struggling with a traumatic event, such as the death of a loved one, natural disasters, or surviving assault. Discover how Red Cedar Counseling EMDR therapy can help you heal emotionally. As compassionate, licensed professionals, our counselors can help individuals reprocess hardships and get back to feeling like themselves again.
What is EMDR?
In the late 1980s, American psychologist Dr. Francine Shapiro invented EMDR when she realized that performing side-to-side eye movements reduced incidents of her upsetting memories. She later hypothesized that EMDR helps rewire the connections between troubling events and negative emotions.
Today, specialists use EMDR therapy to relieve psychological stress for individuals experiencing single-event trauma. EMDR is now an option for other conditions like posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and phobias.
During therapy sessions, patients recall triggering experiences in short doses as the therapist directs their eye movements. The goal is to allow patients to integrate these recollections into their other memories, making traumatic moments more bearable. After a few sessions, such thoughts become less impactful.
Our therapists are compassionate and kind. They will never try to tell you how to live or judge you for any difficulties you may be experiencing. Our goal is always to help our individual patients in a way that works best for them.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is an effective trauma treatment, but new research and developments provide a more comprehensive understanding of how it can be applied in therapy. Nowadays, therapists also use EMDR to decrease fear, stress, or anxiety in patients not struggling with damaging life challenges.
Yes, EMDR therapy works. Dr. Francine Shapiro’s research shows that organizations like the American Psychiatric Association, the Department of Defense, and the World Health Organization consider it highly efficacious in reducing PTSD symptoms. Through the years, over a hundred thousand specialists have successfully treated millions of people using this therapy.
During an EMDR session, the therapist will administer side-to-side eye movements, sounds, or taps as the patient focuses on the distressing event. Next, the therapist will guide the patient to notice images and feelings that come to mind after every round. Remember that these sessions may result in new insights or shift the patient’s understanding about the event.
While EMDR sessions may involve actions that you can do yourself, the therapist is a necessary part of the process as they help to keep clients from traumatizing themselves further during reprocessing.
No, EMDR is not a form of hypnosis. While both methods aim to reinvent negative thoughts and emotions, they are two different procedures. EMDR falls under the psychotherapy category and does not involve patients losing control over voluntary functions.
Phases of EMDR
There are eight phases of EMDR, and they are as follows:
History Session + Treatment Plan
The first phase of EMDR takes about one to two sessions, where the therapist unfolds the patient’s history and develops a custom treatment plan.
During client preparation, we teach patients techniques to deal with emotional disturbances. When the patient is ready, we can proceed to the next phase.
In this phase, the therapist and patient access the patient’s events, triggers, and behaviors together. This part involves reliving traumatic experiences and reprocessing them to decrease negative emotions and physical sensations.
In psychology, the term desensitization refers to the process of making someone less sensitive to hurtful events. This phase deals with addressing a client’s responses to triggers and creating a path toward healing.
The goal of the fifth phase is to strengthen the positive emotions toward the initial negative belief. For example, people who have experienced physical abuse may feel powerless. Our specialists can reprocess such feelings and help clients realize that they have the strength to overcome similar situations.
EMDR sessions prove that unresolved fears have physical manifestations. For this reason, a therapist will perform a body scan to check any residual tension in the body. EMDR therapy can change the narrative for patients with such experiences.
With EMDR, our goal is to leave clients feeling better after each session than when it began. We often achieve this feat, but we still teach clients effective self-calming techniques to support the healing process.
Reevaluation of Treatment Effect
Like with other forms of therapy, this step is essential in determining the success of the EMDR treatment. While one session can do wonders for patients, we always aim for complete healing.
Benefits of EMDR
We recommend EMDR for patients dealing with traumatic experiences, PTSD, or extreme levels of fear, stress, or anxiety. It’s one of the most effective healing methods for people who have trouble talking about past experiences.
Below are some of the benefits of this treatment type:
- Mental health relief from trauma and PTSD
- Reversing phobias
- Reducing chronic pain
- Easing anxiety and depression
- Ceasing addictions and eating disorders
What to Expect
Below are some of the things you can expect from your sessions with our compassionate counselors.
While EMDR is an effective treatment for individuals suffering from single-event traumas, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone. Before treatment, our specialists must ensure that potential EMDR patients do not abuse alcohol or drugs and are able to identify safe and trusting relationships.
Pre-Therapy Development Levels
EMDR success depends on a person’s ability to process thoughts and feelings. If they can overwhelm you to the point of shutting down, it might not be time for EMDR yet. However, we can help you prepare for this treatment type if it’s the best course for you to take.
Short-term EMDR goals include helping patients reprocess disquieting experiences. In the long run, our treatment sessions should provide individuals with the internal tools they need to deal with past, present, and future traumas.
Get Started on Treatment
If you feel like EMDR is the ideal treatment option for you, it’s time to find reliable Lansing MI counselors to begin your journey toward healing.
Therapy and your privacy
The therapists at Red Cedar Counseling respect your privacy. The information shared in a therapy session is strictly confidential. The relationship between the counselor and the patient is based on trust, compassion, and respect, so that each individual feels comfortable in the therapy environment.
Let Red Cedar Counseling help you manage your mental health and explore new ways of living that work for you. We serve people in the greater Lansing, Michigan area. To learn more about EMDR therapy and to talk with a professional counselor in the Lansing, Michigan area, contact Red Cedar Counseling today.
EMDR Therapy at Red Cedar Counseling
You don’t have to deal with traumatic experiences on your own. At Red Cedar Counseling, we help patients understand, empower, and change their lives. No matter how heavy your troubles may seem, we’re here to provide you with compassionate, quality counseling. Get in touch with us now to find the courage to overcome your traumas.