Are you considering EMDR therapy and wondering if it’s the right treatment option for you? You’re in the right place because in this blog post, we’re going to discuss the kinds of things EMDR can treat, who’s a good candidate, and how it works.
Before we dive into that, it’s important to understand what EMDR is and how it works.
What is EMDR and How Does it Work?
In simple terms, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a type of psychotherapy that, unlike traditional talk therapy, uses the patient’s rapid, rhythmic eye movements to help the brain process distressing memories.
These eye movements stimulate the brain’s systems that process information- it’s very similar to how your eyes move back and forth when you’re in REM sleep.
During an EMDR session, the therapist will guide you with instructions, often involving having you perform side-to-side eye movements while thinking of the memory. From here, you and your therapist will access the memory and ‘reprocess’ it – which will help you to move past it.
Much of this processing happens unconsciously for the patient, which makes this approach to trauma treatment helpful for those who don’t wish to talk about the events they’ve experienced.
If you’re looking to learn more about how EMDR works, check out my previous article, What is EMDR and Why is it so Effective.
What Can EMDR Treat?
EMDR therapy can treat a wide array of conditions, but it is most known for helping patients who experience PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
Patients with PTSD have been affected by some kind of traumatic event in their lives and experience symptoms like nightmares, flashbacks, upsetting thoughts, and feelings of trauma happening to them again – even though the actual trauma is over.
The goal is EMDR therapy is that once your brain has been able to process the disturbing memory properly, you will be able to remember the traumatic events without experiencing the intense, emotional reactions that come along with post-traumatic stress.
EMDR therapy may also be recommended to those who experience:
- Anxiety attacks
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety
- Eating disorders
- Sleep disorders
- Performance anxiety
EMDR therapy can help treat many conditions, and if you’re considering it for yourself and have any questions it’s always best to reach out to a healthcare provider.
Who is a Good Candidate for EMDR?
Anyone who is looking to improve their mental health by moving past a difficult experience or memory is a good candidate for EMDR therapy. This could include an individual with PTSD, survivors of assault, individuals dealing with grief, anxiety, or addiction, etc.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your mental health journey and would like to discuss your options, reach out to Engracia Gill today.