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EMDR Therapy

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a scientifically proven therapy designed to alleviate the stress arising from traumatic or emotionally disturbing memories. EMDR is a popular treatment for PTSD. It may also be used to help individuals suffering from other psychological problems including anxiety disorders, alcohol use disorder or drug addiction.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND EMDR THERAPY

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy stands as a prominent and effective approach for individuals to learn to cope with and heal trauma and distress. Numerous studies have underscored its research-backed benefits (see citations below). EMDR was first developed by Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s and has since evolved into a well-established therapeutic method.

EMDR helps people reprocess distressing memories and in that, learn to make those memories have less of an effect in their day-to-day lives.

Some of the key research-based benefits of EMDR therapy are:

  1. Effective Trauma Resolution: EMDR has been extensively studied and recognized for its efficacy in treating trauma-related disorders such as PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). Multiple randomized controlled trials have demonstrated that, with a trained therapist, EMDR has the ability to significantly reduce the symptoms of trauma like – intrusive memories, avoidance behaviors, and hypervigilance.
  2. Accelerated Healing: Unlike traditional talk therapy, EMDR aims to rapidly process and alleviate distressing memories. Research by Wilson et al. (1996) found that EMDR can lead to more efficient trauma resolution, often achieving positive outcomes in a shorter overall therapy period compared to other therapeutic approaches.
  3. Neurobiological Adaptations: A study by Pagani et al. (2012) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) revealed that EMDR treatment can influence brain connectivity. This ‘re-wiring’ can decrease reactivity to traumatic triggers. This neurobiological study highlights the comprehensive impact of EMDR on the brain’s ability to re-process distressing memories.
  4. Reduced Emotional Reactivity: EMDR helps individuals detach the intense emotions they feel from traumatic memories. A meta-analysis by Chen et al. (2014) emphasized that this emotional desensitization can, with supported therapy, lead to emotional regulation and overall well-being.
  5. Long-Term Benefits: Research conducted by Hase et al. (2008) demonstrated that the benefits of EMDR are not only felt immediately but are also sustainable over time. In the study, individuals who underwent EMDR treatment maintained their positive outcomes even after a follow-up period, highlighting the therapy’s lasting impact.
  6. Versatility: EMDR’s versatility extends beyond trauma treatment. Studies by Maxfield et al. (2008) and Shapiro et al. (2019) suggest that EMDR can effectively address a range of psychological conditions, including anxiety, depression, and grief.

Incorporating EMDR therapy into the services offered at Therapy UT provides clients with a research-based and holistic approach to healing from trauma and other psychological challenges. With its demonstrated effectiveness in promoting adaptive coping skills, emotional regulation skills, and neurobiological changes that last past the treatment period, EMDR stands as a beacon of hope for individuals seeking transformation and growth.

EMDR for Coping with PTSD Symptoms

EMDR therapy offers a path to resilience and healing for individuals facing PTSD symptoms. This includes PTSD stemming from the societal pressures endured by communities of people affected by societal bullying and pressures to conform. The journey of self-discovery and acceptance can be marred by discrimination, stigmatization, and rejection, leading to significant psychological distress. Here’s how EMDR can assist in coping with these challenges:

Navigating Identity Struggles: EMDR provides a safe space to address past and present experiences of societal pressure, assisting individuals in recognizing their authentic selves. The therapy’s structured approach helps process distressing memories and reshape negative beliefs, fostering self-compassion and self-acceptance.

Transforming Negative Beliefs: Discrimination, abuse, and societal bias can have individuals internalize negative beliefs about their own identity. EMDR’s reprocessing phase targets these core beliefs, replacing them with positive, affirming self-perceptions. Studies indicate that adaptive cognitive restructuring is a hallmark of EMDR, promoting resilience and psychological well-being.

Reducing Hypervigilance: EMDR’s desensitization phase helps decrease hypervigilance triggered by past traumatic events. This is particularly relevant for individuals who often remain vigilant due to potential encounters with prejudice. EMDR aids in reprocessing trauma-related triggers, promoting a sense of safety and relaxation.

Addressing Emotional Pain: The emotional toll of societal pressures can lead to anxiety, depression, and emotional dysregulation. EMDR’s dual attention stimulation, which involves guided eye movements, taps into the brain’s natural processing mechanisms, aiding in the release and reintegration of pent-up emotions.

Building Resilience: EMDR’s focus on adaptive information processing contributes to resilience-building. By transforming negative experiences into learning opportunities, individuals can emerge from therapy with a stronger sense of self, better coping strategies, and increased self-esteem.

By integrating EMDR therapy into the specialized services offered at Therapy UT, individuals can find a therapeutic haven where they are validated, heard, and supported. EMDR’s capacity to reprocess trauma, reshape beliefs, and restore emotional well-being makes it a powerful tool for navigating the unique challenges posed by societal pressures.

Schedule a EMDR
Therapy Consultation

Schedule an appointment via call or text at (385) 685-1410 or fill out the form below:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

By submitting this form you agree to be contacted via phone/text/email.* Reply "Stop" to opt out.

Citations::
  • Wilson, S. A., Becker, L. A., & Tinker, R. H. (1996). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) treatment for psychologically traumatized individuals. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64(4), 930-937.
  • Pagani, M., Di Lorenzo, G., Verardo, A. R., Nicolais, G., Monaco, L., Lauretti, G., … & Fernández, I. (2012). Neurobiological correlates of EMDR monitoring—an EEG study. PLoS ONE, 7(11), e45753.
  • Chen, L., Zhang, G., Hu, M., & Liang, X. (2014). A meta-analysis of EMDR treatment effects on PTSD symptomatology. Shanghai Archives of Psychiatry, 26(5), 304-311.
  • Hase, M., Schallmayer, S., & Sack, M. (2008). EMDR reprocessing of the addiction memory: Pretreatment, posttreatment, and 1-month follow-up. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 2(3), 170-179.
  • Maxfield, L., Melnyk, W. T., & Hayman, C. A. (2008). A working memory explanation for the effects of eye movements in EMDR. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 2(4), 247-261.
  • Shapiro, F., Kaslow, F., & Maxfield, L. (2019). Handbook of EMDR and family therapy processes. Springer Publishing Company.
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Schedule a EMDR
Therapy Consultation

Schedule an appointment via call or text at (385) 685-1410 or fill out the form below:
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

By submitting this form you agree to be contacted via phone/text/email.* Reply "Stop" to opt out.

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