As a practitioner of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) for over 10 years, I can honestly say what excites me most about this treatment is how successful it is at bringing fast release from a patient’s distress-causing symptoms. From the work I’ve done in my practice, the power of EMDR has been tangible as many of my patients experience life-changing results in as few as 3 – 10 sessions, depending on the trauma. This type of relief can be experienced by someone debilitated by PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) or simply plagued by recurring negative thoughts.
You are not stuck with negative thoughts.
I have found that one of the most common reasons why people don’t seek therapy for negative thought patterns is because they assume they can never make the memory of a traumatic event go away; they assume they are stuck with it forever. This assumption is often supported by a sound rationale that if the event was traumatic, then reliving the memory of that event will also be traumatic and long-lasting. The experiences that create these memories are, without a doubt, horrific. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing does not try to downplay that fact.
EMDR helps you to move beyond the negative thoughts or memories by changing how often that memory comes up and by changing your relationship to the memory. The power of EMDR allows you to move beyond the negative experience.
The three things I know about EMDR.
As a seasoned EMDR practitioner I have pin-pointed three things that I know to be true about EMDR. These three things sum up why I find EMDR to be so powerful.
1 – EMDR often works faster than other therapies. With EMDR you are able to get to the heart of the therapy very quickly because you know in the first session if it is going to work for an individual. (And, yes, it simply doesn’t work for everyone!) So, the fact that you can determine the likelihood of success quickly gives both therapist and patient the opportunity to switch gears or charge ahead accordingly.
2 – EMDR really works. EMDR is a standardized process that looks at how you feel, how you think, and how your body is reacting to something in your life. The EMDR approach triggers heightened awareness of the body’s response to the recurring negative thought. EMDR is most quickly successful in the treatment of a single incident trauma but I also see extremely and fast and positive results with multiple traumas. The process involves no touching, no hypnosis, and the client is in control throughout the whole EMDR therapy session.
3 – EMDR creates lasting change. Consistently, once I have a patient experience a release from the negative symptoms they are able to move on with life. Once the fears and negative thoughts that were prohibiting them from feeling healthy are lifted the therapy is over.
“The speed at which change occurs during EMDR therapy contradicts the traditional notion of time as essential for psychological healing.”
– Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. and world’s leading trauma expert
Utilizing the power of EMDR therapy
If you are looking to find out more information about EMDR therapy for yourself or somebody in your life, there are a number of great resources for you. The website of the EMDR Institute, Inc. (www.EMDR.com) is my go-to source and a great place to start. The website offers a plethora of info about EMDR — from history to recent studies to finding practitioners in your area. I also invite you to visit the EMDR page on my website and please don’t hesitate to contact me by phone or email with questions.
This post is in support of Mental Health Awareness Month, May 2014. Please help remove the stigma of mental illness by sharing and educating those around you.