What is EMDR Therapy?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR) is a psychotherapy treatment that is effective for resolving emotional difficulties caused by disturbing, difficult or frightening life experiences. People of all ages can use EMDR therapy.
EMDR can reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts under specific conditions. EMDR has evolved through the contributions of therapists and researchers all over the world.
Following a specifically designed protocol, the process of EMDR involves a combination of dual stimulation (eye movements, auditory tones, tapping), and gently focusing on images, emotions, thoughts and body sensations associated with your personal suffering.
Together, we would track whatever comes to the surface until the negative aspects are neutralized. At the session’s conclusion, I would provide some resources that will leave you feeling in control and more empowered.
EMDR is a powerful healing method that has, to date, helped an estimated half million people, of all ages, relieve many troublesome symptoms. EMDR can significantly shorten the length of treatment and enhance results far beyond the scope of being involved in talk therapy alone. This is because emotional wounds are located in a more primitive part of the brain that is not assessable to language.
It is often difficult for our brain to process a traumatic or very negative event. This inhibits our ability to recover and over time, symptoms either do not go away or even get worse. The incident becomes stuck in a dysfunctional way. When you remember, you may actually relive it or experience strong emotions and physical sensations or conversely, you may feel numb and eerily shut-down from emotion.
EMDR for Children and Adolescents
When children are traumatized, have upsetting experiences or repeated failures, they lose a sense of control over their lives. This can result in symptoms of anxiety, depression, irritability, anger, guilt and/or behavioural problems.
Events such as accidents, abuse, violence, death and natural disasters are traumatic, but we do not always recognize the ways they affect and influence a child's everyday life. Even common upsetting childhood events, such as divorce, school problems, peer difficulties, failures and family problems, can deeply affect a child's sense of security, self-esteem and development.
When an upsetting, scary or painful experience happens, sometimes the memory of the experience stays "stuck" or "frozen" in the mind and body. The experience may return in a distressing and intrusive way and the child may cope by avoiding everything associated with the upsetting experience.
For example, a child who has experienced a bad bicycle accident may have repeated nightmares, be fearful of trying new things and avoid things that are associated with a bicycle.
The EMDR process is different for all people because the healing process is guided from within. Some people report that EMDR therapy is relaxing and have an immediate positive response. Other people may feel tired at the end of a session and the benefit from the treatment comes in the days to follow.