Have you heard of EMDR Therapy and have been wondering what it is and if it can help you?
EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a therapeutic model that is built around the way our brain responds to trauma as well as the belief that our brain has the same exact capacity to heal itself as our body does. In the same way that our bodies can heal a cut or a broken bone, our brains can heal from psychological wounds.
Traumatic Experiences Shape Us
Many of us experience different variations of trauma throughout our lifetime. Though not the only predictor, one of the biggest predictors of whether our traumatic experience will have a lasting impact on a person is the level of support and connection that we felt during and after the traumatic event. Oftentimes, when support and connection are lacking our brain is unable to process the event fully and parts of us become locked in the fight, flight, freeze response. When the traumatic memory is triggered, our body experiences it as if it is happening in the present moment.
EMDR can Build Resilience
So, how does EMDR work to build resilience?
In the beginning stages of EMDR we really look to find clients’ internal strengths and resources using their own past experiences. If we have trouble connecting to helpful resources within clients, we simply borrow from someone/something else. Through various techniques we are able to strengthen these resources so that they feel truer and more accessible to people during times they need them. Tapping into these more adaptive responses to trauma and wounding experiences can help support the reprocessing phase of EMDR.
Connecting Rational / Logical and Adapting
Through EMDR, clients are able to connect the rational/logical and often more adaptive information they have experienced or learned to the emotional parts of their brain. In doing so, clients are able to experience past events in a different way.
Have you ever said something to the effect of, “I know that I did nothing wrong but when my family member says that thing to me, I’m overcome with guilt”? That’s an example of not being able to fully access your adaptive thinking/knowledge when triggered.
Through building up resources and reprocessing events that have led to maladaptive ways of thinking, clients are able to access logical thought far easier in situations where they previously would have been triggered into a more regressed state. Clients can then use all this new information that their brain now has full access to to practice responding in a more adaptive way to potential future events that may arise. Clients now possess a stronger belief that they have and can endure difficult situations because they possess the internal capacity to do so.
EMDR Intensive Therapy
Learn to heal from trauma over a shorter period of time.
EMDR Intensive Therapy is a customized program that includes prolonged EMDR sessions over a series of 3 days that’s delivered in a highly focused and efficient manner.