The World Health Organization and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies both recognize EMDR as an effective treatment for trauma and PTSD. It is designed to help you engage with these memories, process them, and reduce the distress associated with them.
During an EMDR session, I will guide you through short, small portions of your traumatic memories while helping you focus on making lateral eye movements. By focusing on something external while dealing with the internal material you start forging new neural pathways, ones which give these memories far less physical and emotional weight.
To simplify a little, you can simply think of EMDR as a desensitization therapy. The memories won’t be gone, but they won’t matter as much, either. But you won’t just cease to care. I can also use this method to shift the underlying beliefs attached to these memories. “I was helpless and powerless and could be hurt again” becomes “I was strong and survived a tough experience not everyone gets through.”
EMDR can help anyone suffering from intense psychological distress related to traumatic memories or experiences. If you suffer from PTSD or panic attacks EMDR might be right for you. It is an 8-phase process with a beginning, middle, and end that provides real results.
It can reduce or eliminate flashbacks and nightmares. It can end your need to avoid triggering events and experiences because they will cease to have an impact. It can even end certain physical symptoms you may be experiencing, such as insomnia, fatigue, lack of energy, muscle pains, and headaches.
But you don’t need to be haunted by a specific trauma for EMDR to work. If any of your memories have resulted in learned helplessness, low self-esteem, or despair EMDR might be an appropriate treatment for you.
30+ studies indicate those who are grappling with a single trauma find relief with EMDR 90% of the time! Those who have undergone multiple traumas find relief 77% of the time.
It doesn’t have to take a long time to achieve these results, though it does depend on the nature of the trauma. Many people who are suffering with PTSD find relief in six to twelve sessions.