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All About EMDR

Updated: Oct 22, 2023

EMDR is gaining a lot of attention, and rightly so. Research is showing it's an effective treatment; but have you wondered exactly what it is and what it's effective in treating? Read on for more information about EMDR including questions you can ask your mental health professional to see if EMDR might be right for you.

What is EMDR?

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a form of psychotherapy that helps people process traumatic experiences using eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation (such as tapping or sound). The therapy involves recalling traumatic memories while simultaneously engaging in some form of bilateral stimulation, such as following a therapist’s hand movements with the eyes, listening to alternating tones through headphones or tapping on alternate sides of the body. The idea is that the bilateral stimulation helps to activate the brain's natural healing processes and facilitate the reprocessing of traumatic memories, reducing their impact and enabling the person to move forward with their life. EMDR is typically used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but can also be used to address a range of other mental health conditions.

Who can benefit from EMDR?

EMDR can benefit individuals who have experienced a traumatic event, those struggling with anxiety, depression, phobias, PTSD, and other anxiety-related disorders. It can also be helpful for individuals who struggle with negative self-beliefs, attachment issues, and relationship difficulties.

Question to ask a mental health professional about EMDR.

1. Is EMDR effective for treating my specific condition or symptoms?

2. Can EMDR be used alone or does it need to be combined with other treatments?

3. How many sessions of EMDR will I need and how long will each session be?

4. What can I expect during an EMDR session?

5. Are there any potential risks or side effects associated with EMDR?

6. How will I know if EMDR is working for me?

7. How do you assess progress throughout the treatment process?

And, if you're interested in EMDR and looking for a provider, both Stephanie and Cecilia currently offer EMDR in our practice. Contact either of them to learn more.

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