What you Can Expect from EMDR Therapy
What is EMDR? Maybe you’ve heard the term before or you’re curious about what exactly EMDR is. EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a type of therapy that was developed to help people overcome the effects of traumatic experiences. It is a comprehensive approach to trauma therapy that helps people to process and integrate traumatic memories.
EMDR allows people just like you to gain a new understanding of your experiences, while overcoming their negative effects. In this blog, we will discuss what you can expect from EMDR therapy. We will talk about how it works, its benefits, and what to expect during EMDR therapy sessions.
How Does EMDR Work?
EMDR is a therapeutic approach practiced by counselors who have formal training and experience in providing EMDR. It uses bilateral stimulation to help people process and integrate traumatic memories. This stimulation can take the form of eye movements, sounds, or tapping, and is designed to stimulate both sides of the brain.
The stimulation then activates your brain’s natural healing processes, allowing you to process and integrate your traumatic experiences while reducing the intensity of your negative thoughts and emotions. Pretty cool, right? How great would it be to be less triggered by your past traumatic experiences?
Who Can Benefit from EMDR?
EMDR has shown to be effective in treating a range of psychological and emotional issues. While most commonly used to treat trauma, some of the issues that EMDR helps with are post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and phobias.
EMDR is also used to help people overcome the effects of traumatic experiences, such as physical or sexual abuse, accidents, medical traumas, or natural disasters. It is suitable for people of all ages including children and older adults, and has been found to be especially helpful for those who have experienced complex trauma.
What to Expect During EMDR Therapy
Of course, every EMDR practitioner is different in their approach to EMDR. But in general, EMDR therapy typically involves eight to twelve sessions, although the number of sessions required can vary depending on the individual’s needs. EMDR is a shorter-term therapy and can provide benefits to the individual relatively quickly.
During the first few EMDR sessions, the therapist will assess your symptoms and develop a treatment plan. They will also work with you to identify your traumatic memories and experiences that are affecting your mental and emotional health.
Once the therapist has identified the traumatic memories and experiences that you want to address through EMDR, they will begin the EMDR processing phase. During this phase, the therapist will guide you through the use of bilateral stimulation while you focus on your traumatic memories.
As you process your traumatic memories, you may experience a range of emotions, including anger, sadness, and fear. This is one reason why it is very important for you to have a safe and supportive environment in which to practice EMDR with a trusted therapist. Your therapist will help you manage these feelings as they arise.
Throughout the EMDR processing phase, your therapist will monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan. They will also work with you to develop coping skills and strategies for managing your symptoms outside of your therapy sessions.
The Benefits of EMDR
One of the main benefits of EMDR is its ability to help people overcome the effects of past traumatic experiences. By processing and integrating your traumatic memories, you can overcome their negative effects. This will help you to have less symptoms related to the past trauma, like anxiety, depression and/or PTSD.
EMDR has also been shown to be effective in helping people overcome phobias and other anxiety-related disorders. By desensitizing you to the triggers associated with your phobia(s), EMDR can help you to overcome your fears and regain control of your life. And who doesn’t want to take control back over your life and emotions!
In addition to its therapeutic benefits, EMDR is a relatively short-term treatment, as I mentioned above. Unlike other types of therapy, which can take months or even years to achieve significant improvement, EMDR typically only requires eight to twelve sessions to achieve meaningful results. This makes EMDR an attractive option for individuals who are looking for a quick and effective way to overcome your symptoms.
What to Consider Before Starting EMDR
Before starting EMDR, there are several factors to consider. While EMDR can be incredibly helpful for some if not most individuals, it is not right for everyone. Here are some things to consider before entering into EMDR treatment:
Make Sure EMDR is Right For You
Before starting EMDR, it is important to make sure that it is the right therapeutic approach for your needs. You can do this by talking to your therapist about your symptoms and experiences, or consulting with a therapist who specifically offers EMDR. You can also share any concerns or questions you may have about therapy.
Choose a Qualified Therapist
EMDR is a complex therapeutic approach, and it is important to choose a therapist who is trained and qualified in providing EMDR. A qualified therapist will have the knowledge and skills to use EMDR effectively, and will be able to help you achieve the best possible results.
Be Prepared to Revisit Traumatic Experiences
EMDR therapy involves revisiting past traumatic memories and experiences, and this can be distressing. It is important to be prepared for this and to be in a place in your life where you have the time and energy to do this tough work.
Be Committed to the Process
EMDR is a relatively short-term treatment, but it requires a significant amount of time and effort on your part. It is important to be committed to the process, and to be willing to work through any challenges that may arise during therapy.
Consider Your Support System
EMDR can be emotionally taxing, and it is important to have a supportive network of family and friends to help you through the process. You can even seek out options like a support group of people who have experienced similar experiences, or finding a talk therapist or counselor to work with also.
Talk to Your Therapist About Your Concerns
If you have any concerns about EMDR, it is important to discuss them with your therapist. They can provide you with information that can be helpful to you, as well as additional support. Together, you can determine if EMDR is the right therapeutic approach for your needs.
By considering all of these above factors, you can make an informed decision about whether or not to start EMDR therapy. In addition, you can ensure that you are well prepared for the journey ahead. With the right support and commitment, EMDR can help you overcome the effects of traumatic experiences - you can live a more positive and fulfilling life!
How We Can Help
We have therapists that are specifically trained in EMDR.
If you live in Colorado and believe that EMDR therapy is right for you, contact us today to get set up with an EMDR trained therapist!
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Follow these simple steps if you are looking for general support, or if you would like to talk to someone more about how we can help you:
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Other Therapy Services Available at Catalyss Counseling:
Here at Catalyss Counseling, we want to meet all of your counseling needs in the Denver area. Our supportive therapists provide depression counseling, therapy for caregiver stress, grief and loss therapy, stress management counseling and more. We also have specialists in trauma and PTSD, women's issues, pregnancy and postpartum depression or anxiety, pregnancy loss and miscarriage, and birth trauma. For therapists, we can also provide clinical supervision! We look forward to connecting with you to help support your journey today.
Shannon Heers is a psychotherapist, approved clinical supervisor with Firelight Supervision, guest blogger, and the owner of a group psychotherapy practice in the Denver area. Shannon helps adults in professional careers manage anxiety, depression, work-life balance, and grief and loss. Follow Catalyss Counseling on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.