Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR treatment, was developed by Francine Shapiro. It is an effective treatment for PTSD that allows the brain to process a traumatic experience in less time and in a less distressing way. The EMDR process recognizes that shifting the position of the eyes while recounting or visualizing the traumatic event can speed up experience processing and support the mind in the natural process of healing.
What Conditions Benefit from EMDR Trauma Therapy?
This innovative treatment can help anyone recover from a traumatic experience, without waiting for a specific mental health issue to develop. Some of the conditions that respond to EMDR counseling include:
- EMDR Therapy for PTSD: This method of therapy is gaining acceptance as one of the best treatments for PTSD, helping eliminate symptoms like hyper-alertness, insomnia, and flashbacks.
- Acute Trauma: Immediately following a traumatic experience, EMDR can help process the memories and symptoms of trauma before mental blocks or PTSD develops.
- Panic Disorder: Sometimes the cause of severe anxiety and panic attacks is not one single recognizable event. EMDR also helps those struggling with panic
How Does EMDR Treatment for PTSD Work?
EMDR therapy helps patients to process their experiences and resolve lingering mental, emotional, and somatic distress through an 8-phase treatment program
1. History Taking is the first phase, where the therapist observes the individual’s current mental state and talks about their past history. As part of severe PTSD treatment, the therapist will be alert for signs of dissociation or other serious symptoms.
2. The Preparation Phase focuses on helping the individual develop resources to begin processing their difficult memories. They learn the skills needed to begin connecting to a state of emotional well-being.
3. The Assessment Phase identifies the specific memories that will be the focus of treatment in the next phase. A number of experiences may be recalled during this phase, and the emotions, thoughts, and body sensations they produce will be assessed.
4. Desensitization involves using a dual state of awareness to allow the individual to simultaneously recall their traumatic memories while remaining aware of their safety in the present moment.
5. Installation strengthens the new positive beliefs which were identified in earlier phases. Negative cycles are replaced by thoughts and core beliefs which are supportive and affirming of the individual’s strength, safety, and resilience.
6. The Body Scan Phase focuses on locating and eliminating any lingering distress or tension in the body by practicing mindful self-assessment and accepting what the body is feeling.
7. Closure as part of post-traumatic stress disorder treatment ensures that the patient leaves the session grounded and that, if the experience has not been fully processed, they are able to pause until the next session.
8. Reevaluation allows the therapist time to review previous sessions and determine what distress may still remain. Helping the client to achieve complete healing and fully recover from long-term or complex trauma requires addressing any lingering emotional pain.
How Effective Is EMDR?
More than 30 scientific studies have been done on EMDR therapy, some showing that 84%-90% of trauma victims recovered from PTSD in just three 90-minute sessions.1
EMDR Therapy at Serenity Trauma Healing Center
If you are looking for the best therapy for PTSD or want to review the latest PTSD treatment options, reach out to us and schedule an appointment today. We strive to help you make the transition from a victim of trauma to a survivor, and then to reclaim your ability to truly thrive.