Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a comprehensive approach to trauma treatment. People who have been traumatized experience profound and disturbing symptoms, including anxiety, depression and disturbing and disruptive memories. The relationship between trauma and memory can be difficult to navigate. We don’t always know what triggers a traumatic memory. But for trauma survivors, such memories can feel intrusive and re-traumatizing. It can feel as if the traumatic incident is happening again.
There’s also the emotional storm that accompanies trauma. EMDR can be an important treatment for trauma and recovery. It includes many of the effective elements of other psychotherapy practices in a specific set of structured protocols to help calm the storm, put the past to rest and help trauma survivors live more comfortably in the present.
As a trauma therapy, EMDR helps heal past experiences, and in doing so, can make current issues more manageable. For people who have been traumatized, today’s difficulties can trigger strong and difficult feelings that are associated with the trauma. As a trauma therapy tool, EMDR can also help address the negative thoughts and assumptions that often amplify current issues. EMDR can also help survivors learn more positive and functional ways of viewing themselves and the world around them as an important part of trauma and recovery.
I use EMDR as a adjunct therapy to my mindfulness-based therapy. I also use its a standalone therapy for certain clients where I believe there can be real benefit.
Part of trauma therapy is assessing the right approach to move people from trauma to recovery. I’m available to assess whether EMDR is appropriate for individual treatment in a psychotherapy plan that is tailor made for each client. Generally, I spend the first few sessions with a client, assessing their unique needs and situation, so together we can decide the best way to proceed.