It almost sounds like something out of science fiction, but Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is instead a very real tool for addressing past trauma in a person’s life. You don’t have to wait for the future to start addressing the pain of your past. EMDR is available to you right now in the present moment.
A Targeted Approach
According to the EMDR Institute, Inc., Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is “a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences…Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference…EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.”
So How Does EMDR Work?
EMDR therapy involves a series of exercises intended to radically change the way a traumatic memory affects an individual. The exercises, as might be expected, include eye movements, but there are other components as well, including the use of tones and/or tapping techniques.
Under the guidance of a trained therapist and using a personalized approach, an individual may begin to see significant improvement in symptoms of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and the like in a relatively short period of time. Of course, the pace of change will be different for everyone, but in general, progress occurs much faster using EMDR therapy than it does when many other therapeutic options are used.
The EMDR Institute offers a comparison that is helpful for understanding the way the therapy works.
“When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes.”
In addition to the accelerated timeline for seeing results, EMDR offers a number of benefits for those seeking relief from trauma-related disorders. These benefits include:
- A reduction in the physical and psychological symptoms connected with trauma
- A reduction in the distress connected with disturbing or difficult memories
- A reduction in the power of present or future triggers connected with trauma
- A reduction in the likelihood of relapse for those in recovery from a substance use disorder
- A significant boost to an individual’s self-esteem and ability to leave the past in the past
Keeping Your Eye On the Future
As noted above, EMDR therapy can help a person move forward from past traumas by lessening the impact of those traumas in the present. The therapy gives agency back to those suffering from PTSD or other trauma-related disorders, freeing them from the grip of the past and debilitating symptoms associated with trauma. This improved ability to leave the past behind is the foundation upon which a better future can be built.
Mountain Laurel Offers Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy
Mountain Laurel Recovery Center’s staff includes therapists trained in the use of the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing approach to treatment. EMDR is one of many options we offer patients who need help bolstering their mental health, overcoming a substance use disorder, or both.
If your past makes it difficult for you to function in the present, EMDR may offer significant relief at a much faster pace than other therapies. At Mountain Laurel Recovery Center, we are fully committed to compassionate and personalized care, which means we will take the time to listen to you carefully and then work with you to craft an individualized approach to treatment—including determining whether or not EMDR is a good option for you.
EMDR is not science fiction. It is a proven therapy that can improve your life by helping you change your relationship to past traumatic events. If that sounds like it would be of benefit to you, we hope you will reach out to us.