10 Ways EMDR Retrains the Brain & Strengthens Self-Esteem

10 Ways EMDR Retrains the Brain & Strengthens Self-Esteem

There’s not a single person on earth who hasn’t experienced something that’s either traumatic, stressful, or distressing. When we experience a traumatic or stressful event, our brain can respond in a way that impacts our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. That’s all natural – it’s our body’s way of responding to threats or danger and sometimes it can cause intrusive memories or keep us in a constant stressful state. Over time, that takes a toll on how we function and our self-esteem often suffers as a result. EMDR therapy can help relieve the stress associated with our traumatic or stressful memories! As EMDR is retraining our brain, our self-esteem improves as well.

How Does EMDR Retrain the Brain?

EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing retrains the brain by allowing it to process and integrate those traumatic or stressful memories in a way that reduces the ongoing impact of those memories. EMDR therapy is a form of trauma therapy that benefits people who may not have gone through trauma, as well. EMDR helps retrain the brain by facilitating the processing of unprocessed traumatic memories, reducing their emotional impact, and allowing you to develop more adaptive coping mechanisms and beliefs. It’s a complex process that integrates information that is held in both the right (emotional) and left (thinking) part of the brain to help reorganize information and heal from trauma. 

Image of EMDR

When someone experiences trauma or a stressful event, it’s common to become anxious, overwhelmed or otherwise dysregulated. Additionally, people who have been through traumatic situations may develop negative self-beliefs, such as ‘I’m to blame’, ‘I should have done more’, ‘I’m not lovable’ etc. They can also adapt towards people-pleasing tendencies in an effort to keep the peace and prevent more stressful events from happening. It’s not uncommon for me to work with clients who are people-pleasers and on the verge of burnout because they are everyone’s go-to person. All of that comes with a cost – you stop taking care of your needs so you can take care of everyone else. Oftentimes when we stop investing in our self-care, we send ourselves and ultimately others the message that we are not important contributing to low self-esteem. It’s not something that happens overnight! It can take years for this to happen but the root cause is often unresolved trauma. This is where EMDR can help! Let’s dive into the 10 ways EMDR works to retrain your brain and strengthen your self-esteem.

10 Ways EMDR Boosts Your Self-Esteem

EMDR helps in identifying and reprocessing negative self-beliefs rooted in your past experiences. By addressing these beliefs and challenging our negative self-beliefs, we can develop a more positive self-image.

Through EMDR therapy, you are encouraged to strengthen positive beliefs about yourself. The more challenge your negative self-beliefs, the more you strengthen your POV on yourself. This reinforcement can lead to improved self-esteem.

By getting to the root cause of your anxiety, EMDR can decrease it. There’s a link between high anxiety and low self-esteem. Less anxiety can lead to feeling more confident and capable.

Trauma and stressful events can significantly impact self-esteem. EMDR helps in processing traumatic memories, reducing your ongoing impact on your self-worth.

As you go through an EMDR intensive, you’re altering the emotional impact of past negative experiences. In turn, you start to see yourself in a new, positive light.

EMDR therapy can increase emotional resilience, enabling you to better handle stress and setbacks, which are crucial for maintaining healthy self-esteem.

Therapy can lead to greater self-awareness, helping you understand and accept your strengths and weaknesses, which is key to having healthy self-esteem.

Unprocessed trauma can result in heavy feelings of guilt and shame, which tend to decrease our self-esteem. EMDR can be effective in reducing those feelings and freeing ourselves of the burden they cause.

As self-esteem improves, interpersonal relationships often become healthier and more positive, which in turn can further boost self-esteem. Additionally, EMDR will help you build boundaries that can help protect you from sliding backward into putting everyone else’s needs first.

EMDR can empower you by helping you overcome past experiences and fostering a sense of control over your emotional well-being.

Strengthening Your Self-Esteem Takes Work

Areas EMDR can help with

EMDR is a great option for people who have not had success in completely resolving their issues with talk therapy. Additionally, if your not someone who wants to rehash every aspect of past experiences, EMDR allows you to heal from the past without having to discuss it in-depth. EMDR works best for people who are open to the idea that past events often influence current struggles – even if you’re not sure what those events might have been. When you’re ready to start your healing journey, EMDR therapy will be there to empower you as you overcome past traumas and work towards a healthier, more self-compassionate version of yourself.

Strengthen Your Self-Esteem

Improve Your Confidence as You Heal

A customized EMDR Intensive provides an accelerated format for you to resolve your current struggles.

EMDR Intensives

If you’re looking for accelerated progress, intensive therapy could be your answer