I keep hearing about EMDR, but I have no idea what it is. What exactly is EMDR?
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.
So, how does EMDR Work?
EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment. After the therapist and client agree that EMDR therapy is a good fit, and begin to work together, the client will be asked to focus on a specific event. Attention will be given to a negative image, belief, and body feeling related to this event, and then to a positive belief that would indicate the issue was resolved. While the client focuses on the upsetting event, the therapist will begin sets of side-to-side eye movements, sounds, or taps. The client will be guided to notice what comes to mind after each set. They may experience shifts in insight or changes in images, feelings, or beliefs regarding the event. The client has full control to stop the therapist at any point, if needed. The sets of eye movements, sounds, or taps are repeated until the event becomes less disturbing.
A typical EMDR therapy session lasts from 60-90 minutes. EMDR therapy may be used within a standard talking therapy, as an adjunctive therapy with a separate therapist, or as a treatment all by itself.
The above description is provided by www.emdria.org
What is going on with me that I would need this kind of therapy to help me to get over my past?
It’s important to know that there is not anything wrong with you. You have memories that trigger years of historical emotions. The problem is that traumatic memories are stored differently than other ones. They get stuck in a way that stops them from going through the brain’s natural healing process. Working with both sides of your brain at once stimulates this process and gets it going again. Think of it like a conveyor belt that got stuck and then gets jump-started again.
To check out even more information regarding EMDR go to www.emdria.org. It is loaded with information, statistics, research, etc.