Blog & Articles

 

New EMDR Treatment Offered, by Judi Willetts, Ph.D.

October 02, 2018

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a powerful therapy used to treat many forms of anxiety and distress, including acute stress disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. EMDR provides a means of getting past trauma, current stressors, and future worries.

This treatment includes many elements from other forms of treatment. Classic EMDR treatment is a multi-phase process that begins with a thorough history followed by assessment of the client’s issues. Then the client learns new strategies to shift his/her mood to a more adaptive state. Emphasis is on developing skills and attitudes needed to not only process the past, but to lead to a healthy future.

Once progress is made with skill development, bilateral stimulation is used to access a client’s memory network. Bilateral stimulation is stimuli (visual, auditory or tactile) that occur in a rhythmic left-right pattern. This stimulation can take various forms, including the therapist moving his or her hand back and forth like a windshield wiper with the client’s eyes following.

This process allows the negative memory networks to connect with the adaptive skills center of the brain. As the memories are processed, the troubling parts are let go while the adaptive parts are strengthened. Things that are blocked are opened up and re-worked to bring about healing. This results in far less emotional reaction to disturbing memories. The goal is to develop a new perspective that leads to greater peace and better overall functioning.

Many clients who have had EMDR treatment report that things that used to bother them are no longer a problem. Thus they have fewer triggers and remain calm more often. When they do get upset, they report that they can let go of things and settle down more quickly. We now have eight therapists at our two offices trained in EMDR. We are excited to provide this new form of treatment to those who are suffering.

 

 

 

 

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