How Can EMDR Therapy Help Me?
Updated: Apr 24, 2021
You probably heard about EMDR Therapy or someone recommended EMDR for you. Now you are wondering what it is and how it can help you. You have come to a right place and I hope this article can answer some of your questions.
WHAT IS EMDR?
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It was developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro in 1988 to help with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Different than traditional therapy, it uses bilateral stimulations, including eye movements, bilateral sound stimulations, and/or tactile stimulations to help process trauma in therapy sessions. It’s also effective to treat depression and anxiety.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT IN EMDR THERAPY SESSIONS?
You will be provided with a link to log into remotEMDR. If you have a laptop, earbuds/headphones, and good internet connection, you are ready to go. Your therapist will guide you through the process. There are not much talking involved in EMDR therapy session, because we don’t only want to access the part of the brain that’s controlling language, we want the whole brain to be involved! Of course, if you need a session just to talk, you can always discuss with your therapist. In my own practice, I always asked my clients how they prefer to best use their therapy time and accommodates with their needs.
HOW WILL I KNOW IF EMDR THERAPY IS RIGHT FOR ME?
Most therapists, when they start EMDR Therapy with you, they start by helping you building resources you can use to cope with anxiety and distress—such as building a peaceful place where your brain can always travel to, a character that can protect you, certain scents that can ground you, or a song that can alternate your moods. This is a good place to test out if you like EMDR Therapy or not. It is also important that you and your therapist have a good rapport going and you trust your therapist. Once you are ready to process your trauma, let your therapist know that you are ready to give EMDR Therapy a try. Please remember, you can always stop during EMDR if you want, and that you have the control.
SO, HERE ARE THE 5 WAYS EMDR THEARPY CAN HELP YOU.
1. It helps processing trauma. If you are experiencing flash backs, intrusive thoughts and feelings if you don’t want them to, or just can’t get certain events out of your head, EMDR Therapy can help. Chances are, these things are like a big, gigantic rock, and your brain just can’t file it away. So you keep re-experiencing the same thing over and over again. EMDR Therapy helps break that big rock into smaller pieces, so you brain can process them and filed them away.
2. It helps find out your deep root cause. You maybe stuck with certain untrue thoughts all your life and are having a hard time believing otherwise. For example, you maybe told as a child over and over again that you are fat and ugly, and now as a grown women, even though all your friends and families around you see you as healthy and beautiful, you just can’t see it yourself. EMDR Therapy can help find out the root cause of that, traveling back to the time where you first feel that way, and help process that.
3. Your brain is doing the work. In traditional talk therapy, your therapist might suggest you with a more positive or reality-based thinking. You may think that’s rational, but somehow you just don’t feel it. The beautiful part about EMDR Therapy is that, through process in session, your brain actually will tell you what you rather believe. Most of the time, your therapist your help you link that belief with how your body is feeling as well.
4. It helps with depression and anxiety. EMDR Therapy can help processing memories, including body memories that are associated with your depression and anxiety.
5. It helps prepare for future events. Maybe you have an event coming that induces anxiety. In EMDR Therapy session, your therapist can help you prepare for that future event.
Now, maybe you are interested in EMDR therapy, but how do you find an EMDR Therapist? If you go to EMDRIA’s official website https://www.emdria.org/find-a-therapist/ and follow the prompt, you will be able to find a certified EMDR Therapist. You can also go to Psychology Today and put in EMDR when you search a therapist. If you want more information, please check out https://www.emdria.org/about-emdr-therapy/ to find out more about EMDR Therapy. For video decentration, you can check this one out https://www.instituteforcreativemindfulness.com/video-resources/.
What is a certified EMDR Therapist?
A EMDR Certified therapist has to be fully licensed and has at least two years of experienced in the field, must complete PART I and PART II training, 20 hours of consultation hours, and at least 50 hours of sessions with clients. I completed my Part I training with EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs in 2013 and Part II training with EMDRIA in Vancouver, BC in 2015. By the time I am writing this, I have 10 consultation hours, and only 10 more to go! Hopefully, I will get certified in 2021!
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