Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy for Trauma Q&A
The goal of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is to change the feelings, ideas, or behaviors caused by trauma. When traumatic memories are reactivated, they can interrupt daily functioning and have a detrimental impact on all parts of an individual’s life. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is available at Gold Counseling. For more information, contact us or book an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you in Riverdale, Kaysville, Draper, and St. George UT.
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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapeutic approach that addresses trauma. The treatment prompts patients to briefly focus on their traumatic memories while simultaneously undergoing bilateral stimulation.
This bilateral stimulation, often achieved through eye movements, is known to reduce the intensity of these traumatic memories. The objective is to facilitate the brain’s reprocessing of these distressing memories, enabling individuals to process the sensations associated with the trauma in a different manner. The ultimate goal is to desensitize individuals to these traumatic memories, diminishing their emotional impact and alleviating symptoms linked to them. EMDR incorporates elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to reshape certain brain associations.
During EMDR treatment, individuals are encouraged to reflect on and discuss their memories, triggers, and distressing emotions related to their trauma or other conditions. Simultaneously, they engage with external stimuli, typically through eye movements that move back and forth within their field of vision.
Traumatic memories, when triggered, can disrupt daily functioning and negatively influence all aspects of an individual’s life. Over time, the therapeutic process helps individuals work through these distressing memories and their associated emotions until they can recall the event without reliving it. While the memory remains, it no longer carries the same debilitating symptoms.
EMDR therapy centers on altering the emotions, thoughts, or behaviors stemming from trauma. This approach enables your brain to return to its healing process.
Frequently, traumatic memories are stored in a way that impedes healthy healing within the brain. When trauma hasn’t had the opportunity to heal, recalling the traumatic event can cause your brain to process it as more than a mere memory – it can feel as if it’s still happening, as though the traumatic event were still an active threat, and giving rise to a spectrum of symptoms.
During EMDR therapy, you engage with memories of a traumatic event in a highly targeted manner. This process, accompanied by eye movements and guidance from the experts at Gold Counseling, aids in the reprocessing of the recollections tied to the negative event.
Doing so lessens the symptoms connected to these memories and can decrease the likelihood of being affected by triggers like visual cues, sounds, or scents that would typically evoke recollections of the traumatic experience.
Each patient’s trauma is different and consequently, the healing process will vary. A standard EMDR therapy session typically spans 60 to 90 minutes. EMDR therapy can be integrated into traditional talk therapy or employed as a standalone treatment.
The initial phase involves a comprehensive assessment and the collaborative identification of treatment objectives between the therapist and the client. These targets encompass memories, current triggers, and the goals an individual hopes to achieve from therapy.
EMDR therapy extends over several sessions to yield its effects, although the precise number of sessions required may vary according to individual needs. Some individuals might benefit from weekly sessions for several months, while others may only necessitate a few sessions spaced out over a more extended duration.
The duration of treatment varies widely from person to person, influenced by various factors. Typically, individuals working through the 8 phases of EMDR therapy are advised to consider 8 to 12 sessions as a general guideline, though the exact number can vary depending on the nature and complexity of the trauma, as well as individual differences.
In some cases, single incident trauma may necessitate fewer sessions than more complex or developmental trauma, but again this is not always the case as each individual’s experience differs.
EMDR tends to produce a high success rate for trauma patients. However, each patient’s relationship with the treatment will be a unique and tailored journey with many factors impacting the speed and degree of trauma relief. Some studies suggest EMDR has been successful for upwards of 90% of patients. EMDR often brings about rapid improvements in how individuals feel, but it’s essential to complete the entire process under the guidance of a qualified EMDR therapist, such as those at Gold Counseling, to ensure the most beneficial and enduring results.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy is available at Gold Counseling. For more information, contact us or book an appointment online. We serve patients from Riverdale UT, Washington Terrace UT, Clinton UT, Kaysville UT, Clearfield UT, Farmington UT, Draper UT, Riverton UT, Sandy UT, St. George UT, Bloomington UT, Santa Clara UT, and surrounding areas.