Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of treatment that therapists commonly use for treating trauma. Have you experienced a traumatic event, which still affects you daily? Then EMDR therapy can help to neutralize the memories of that event.
How does EMDR therapy work?
In EMDR therapy, the therapist actively reminds you of the trauma. You are asked to recall the event and focus on the images, thoughts, and emotions associated with it. While you do this, the therapist tries to distract you through your senses. For example by asking you to follow his or her hand movements with your eyes. Or by using headphones to alternate between right and left sounds. Your therapist can also tap your hands alternately right and left.
The science behind EMDR treatment is based on the fact that reliving a traumatic event takes a lot of brain capacity. By concentrating on different sensory perceptions simultaneously, the ‘working memory’ of your brain has less time to deal with the unpleasant memory. This often causes (part of) the memory to take on new meaning, or new thoughts to surface. When that happens, the treatment is paused. It is then the intention that you focus on the change or new thought. After that, the treatment will be repeated with the new thought as the focus.
The effect of EMDR therapy is that the memories of the trauma increasingly lose their emotional charge. Many patients indicate that certain memories change, become more blurred, or even disappear into the background altogether. You also learn to look back at the events from a different perspective and to give them a new, less threatening meaning.
Do I need EMDR therapy?
If you suffer a lot in everyday life from past trauma, you may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). EMDR has proven to be a successful method in the treatment of PTSD. But specific emotional memories can also play a role in other complaints and mental disorders. Therefore, EMDR may also be effective for you if you suffer from depression, an anxiety disorder, an eating disorder, or psychosis. EMDR is also used in chronic pain or addiction.
Choose your online therapist
Online EMDR therapist
Online EMDR therapy is still rarely used, but it is possible. At The Online Therapists, our affiliate EMDR-therapists are happy to help you remotely, so you get the help you need. Even if you are unable to attend therapy in person, or if you live abroad.