While specific, proven trauma treatment is necessary for PTSD, it needn’t be a highly verbal process. Talk therapy isn’t the only method for processing your pain and memories. An effective and increasingly more well-known treatment can relieve your mind and body.
Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) is a safe and proven treatment. It is capable of addressing trauma significantly, often in ways that traditional therapy methods do not. In fact, some research suggests that EMDR therapy may be able to soothe the aftereffects of personal crises, unexpected tragedies, persistent anxiety and depression in half the time of other trauma treatments.
So, what exactly makes EMDR therapy such a successful trauma treatment?
1. EMDR therapy is the full package.
As Dr. Susan Dutcher describes it:
“EMDR Therapy is body centered and I began to realize that the body not only stores trauma but also can RELEASE that intense emotional pain to assist the healing process. EMDR Therapy combines elements of cognitive therapy, somatic experiences, mindfulness, exposure, and other therapies to heal past trauma and help people envision a different future.”
You may be experiencing disruptive thoughts, rollercoaster emotions, uncomfortable bodily sensations, or other unhelpful responses that suggest you’re unsuccessfully managing undigested trauma.
Don’t beat yourself up for being unable to resolve this on your own or for considering help now. EMDR allows you the opportunity to face your fears and feelings directly, holistically, and accurately. This accomplished in a relatively short amount of time. I find most treatments last an average of 8 weeks, with participants reporting a lasting and very satisfactory result.
2. EMDR therapy uses the brain’s ability to heal itself.
Often, emotional resistance and mental blocks can get in the way of healthy, rapid trauma recovery. EMDR therapy is such a helpful approach because it supports the core belief that the mind wants to heal. Such healing does not need a prolonged, drawn out process to be effective.
Once you and I identify a mental block, EMDR therapy will be helpful for relieving the stress and easing the anxiety of trauma. This happens in a completely natural and sustainable manner. Essentially, EMDR therapy helps reestablish thought processes and cognitive reasoning that already come naturally to you and may not have been easily restored by other trauma treatments.
In effect, EMDR therapy aids important mental connections. How?
Bilateral Stimulation. To sort out and transform your emotional responses to traumatic thoughts and memories, this standardized treatment strategy focuses on past memories while staying present in the moment.
EMDR creator and developer Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., explains:
“Specific procedures are used to help clients maintain a sense of control during memory work as the therapist guides their focus of attention. They need only focus briefly on the disturbing memory during the processing while engaged in the bilateral stimulation (eye movements, taps or tones) as the internal associations are made. The client’s brain makes the needed links as new emotions, sensations, beliefs, and memories emerge. All the work is done during the therapy sessions. It is not necessary for the client to describe the memory in detail, and no homework is used.”
In other words, during a EMDR therapy session, I will direct you to use either eye movement, tapping or tones while you briefly think of specific parts of the trauma. You don’t even have to talk about what happened if you choose not to. You will be in charge of the pacing and you will always be in control.
Amazingly, several studies indicate that nearly 80% of single-trauma victims experience significant relief from PTSD. Many feel better after engaging in as few as 3, 90-minute EMDR sessions.
3. EMDR therapy causes relief as well as ongoing recovery.
Trauma is especially devastating to some people because it causes a persistent sense of helplessness or feeling out of control. This therapy is direct and structured, thus, you will likely find that the relief and understanding gained by the EMDR process is yours alone and not derived from the interpretation of your therapist.
EMDR therapy is both a safe and empowering procedure. You will likely feel more receptive and emotionally aware as time goes on. If you run into any roadblocks, you can always schedule another session. EMDR therapy allows you to improve your perspective and engage more beneficial decision-making. In a short amount of time, you’ll find yourself moving forward… a healthier, less reactive, calm version of yourself.
Take the Next Step…
PTSD can take up residence in your life for a very long time. But only if you let it. The first step to regaining control of your life and happiness is to accept that you have a problem. Then, you can accept the help that will make recovery possible.
You deserve to live a life liberated from trauma. You have a right to recover. With EMDR therapy, you can achieve lasting clarity, sustainable peace, and a future with less emotional baggage.
Talk to me about EMDR therapy. It’s time to release your fear. Relax the grip the past has on your world and restore your ability to live life well.
Think we might be a good fit? Contact me for a free 30-minute consultation today to learn more about how I can help.Click Here
April Lyons, MA, LPC is a somatic psychotherapist and graduate from Naropa University. She currently owns a private practice in Boulder, CO. She specializes in PTSD, eating disorders and bipolar treatment. April is trained in EMDR Therapy, Trauma Informed Care, and is certified as a Eating Disorder Intuitive Therapist.
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April Lyons Received her EMDR Training and Certification Through the Maiberger Institute.
This EMDRIA approved EMDR Training is facilitated by Barb Maiberger, MA, LPC — the author of “EMDR Essentials: A Guide for Clients and Therapists” and the co-author of “EMDR Therapy and Somatic Psychology: Interventions to Enhance Embodiment in Trauma Treatment.”