Why EMDR is Effective in Treating Trauma

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, is an effective treatment for trauma disorders and individuals struggling with issues caused by trauma. It has been widely praised in the United States and is currently used by agencies such as the American Psychiatric Association, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

Those suffering from PTSD caused by major traumas such as sexual or physical assault, combat experiences, accidents or the sudden death of a loved can benefit from EMDR therapy. As such, sessions work to alleviate PTSD symptoms like flashbacks and nightmares, angry outbursts, difficulties sleeping and concentrating, and feelings of depression and isolation.

Recent research has pointed to the fact that PTSD can also result from less dramatic life events, such as hurtful experiences during childhood. In some cases, these can cause even more symptoms of PTSD than major traumas like combat or terrorist attacks.

Once trauma is experienced, there is a disruption in how the brain processes information. In a “normal” brain that has not experienced a shocking event, processing systems digest information about what was experienced and make appropriate connections. Those reactions to the event that are no longer useful, any emotions or physical sensations, are released.

However, when an individual experiences a traumatic event, it disrupts this processing system and stores negative memories and emotions, as well as physical sensations and beliefs, in the brain. These stored traumatic interpretations mingle with current events to color them negatively. In short, the past becomes the present.

The Benefit of EMDR Therapy

EMDR is an effective treatment for trauma, like these unprocessed past memories that are poisoning the present. Through EMDR, we work to remove the anxiety, fear and sadness that cause individuals to avoid or overreact to situations.

EMDR techniques allow individuals to identify early memories that are the root of their problems and change their emotions, thoughts, and even physical sensations surrounding them. These same techniques can also help people achieve desired goals by understanding why they do what they do and how they can manage life and their own behaviors better.

EMDR treats a variety of issues including:

  • Panic attacks
  • Complicated grief
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Disturbing memories
  • Phobias
  • Pain disorders
  • Performance anxiety
  • Stress reduction
  • Addictions
  • Sexual and/or Physical abuse
  • Body dysmorphic disorders
  • Personality Disorders

If you or a loved one suffer from any of the above and believe you may benefit from EMDR, please contact us using the form below. Not ready? You can learn more about EMDR here

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