Three Benefits of EMDR for Trauma
3 Benefits of EMDR Therapy for Trauma
EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a relatively new therapy approach that was developed to help individuals who are struggling to heal and process traumatic memories, distressing events, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Whether you’ve never heard of EMDR before or you’ve been curious about this therapy approach for a while, you can learn a little more about what EMDR is and some of the many benefits of EMDR compared to other forms of trauma therapy in this blog.
What is EMDR?
Before we talk about the benefits, let’s take a quick look at exactly what EMDR is. Much of the definition of this therapy approach can be found in its name. It’s a psychotherapy approach that uses eye movements to jumpstart the brain’s natural healing processes to help clients alleviate symptoms of trauma and distressing events through desensitization and reprocessing. The EMDR therapy process itself involves using bilateral movements (usually following a therapist’s hand with the eyes) as the client reflects on parts of their traumatic experience. As the bilateral movements continue, the client begins to make natural connections and process difficult or disturbing emotions. If EMDR is performed successfully, this process not only allows the client to heal the psychological wound of trauma, but it also gives them the ability to change the thoughts surrounding these events. This leaves them feeling empowered.
1 – Typically See Faster Results
One of the most significant benefits of EMDR therapy is how quickly the process can work to diminish symptoms associated with distressing events. Using traditional talk therapy methods, individuals who were working to process trauma could take months or even years to reach a level where the symptoms were effectively managed, so they could begin to safely take on the work of therapy to reprocess the underlying events. EMDR can allow clients to achieve the same level of relief within just a few sessions.
2 – No Need to Discuss the Specifics
Traditional talk therapy for trauma often involves diving deep into the specifics of traumatic experiences in order to better understand the emotional, cognitive, and physical responses and behaviors that arise related to this distressing experience. While this can be helpful, it’s also a long process. Before a client is ready to discuss the specifics of a traumatic experience, the symptoms need to be managed, underlying and preexisting beliefs and new beliefs about the self must be explored, and the client must be in a safe and stable place to reenter that experience and begin to heal. EMDR does not require the client to discuss the details of their trauma. Instead, they are able to focus on one aspect or emotion related to the event at a time, which can be extremely beneficial, especially for those who seek therapy support immediately following their traumatic experience.
3 – EMDR Is Versatile
While EMDR was developed specifically to address symptoms of trauma and PTSD, researchers have found proof that it’s actually beneficial in the healing process for any distressing events as well as in managing difficult or confronting emotional concerns. For instance, EMDR may be applied to help individuals who struggle with panic attacks, eating disorders, addictions, and anxiety disorders. The versatility of EMDR allows individuals to process all types of traumatic experiences and quickly manage and understand challenging emotions.
Schedule a Therapy Session
If you’re interested in learning more about EMDR, don’t hesitate to contact Gerdin Psychological Services. I’ll be happy to answer your questions or schedule an introductory session to take a little more time to discuss your unique situation and how EMDR or other approaches to therapy may benefit you.