Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR) is a psychotherapy—or talk therapy—that can help you get relief from PTSD symptoms. It works by allowing you to process upsetting memories and feelings.
EMDR therapists use lateral eye movements (or other forms of bilateral stimulation) while patients recall and focus on troubling memories, negative cognitions, and physical sensations of anxiety. This helps strip the traumatic memory of its power to elicit fear and avoidance and promotes approach behavior instead of escape behavior. Disturbing events can include sexual or traumatic abuse, severe accidents or injuries, a car accident, the death of a loved one, or any other situation that overwhelms the body’s natural ability to cope with stress. These upsetting experiences can trigger PTSD and other trauma-related conditions. EMDR therapy Ottawa is an effective treatment for PTSD that can be used with other psychotherapy techniques. EMDR therapy is non-invasive, and it’s shown to be just as effective as traditional talk therapy.
It’s widely assumed that severe emotional pain takes a long time to heal, but repeated studies show that EMDR therapy can quickly treat unprocessed trauma-related recollections. Similar to how the body recovers from physical trauma, EMDR helps clients make sense of their traumatic experiences so they can process and accept them. EMDR is a form of psychotherapy that uses bilateral stimulation to relieve the distress associated with disturbing memories. A therapist will ask you to recall a troublesome memory while simultaneously following a rapid, side-to-side visual stimulus (typically, a therapist’s finger). It’s believed that these lateral eye movements allow the mind to begin processing disturbing images, thoughts, and feelings. As a result, these images become less vivid and less emotionally charged. This allows the brain to replace negative trauma-related cognitions with more adaptive ones.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy is a highly effective psychotherapy treatment for trauma, anxiety, and many other conditions. However, EMDR can be costly and may not be accessible for those with limited financial resources. Developed in the 1980s by psychologist Francine Shapiro, EMDR is a type of psychotherapy that uses rhythmic left-right stimulation to help people recover from trauma and distressing experiences. Shapiro discovered that a person’s rapid, rhythmic eye movements dampened the intensity of upsetting memories and emotions. During an EMDR session, your therapist will ask you to recall painful events and thoughts that occurred in the past. They will then use a method that involves alternately tapping their knees or moving their eyes back and forth while they process these memories.
Effective for Children
EMDR is effective in helping children and adolescents who have experienced trauma. It is essential to have a child/adolescent evaluated by a psychologist and, if needed, seek treatment, as untreated trauma can have long-term adverse mental health effects. During EMDR, a person will concentrate on an upsetting memory and follow their therapist’s finger movements while rushing back and forth (called bilateral eye stimulation). Research suggests that the back-and-forth eye movement replicates what happens in REM sleep and helps consolidate memories.
Effective for Adults
EMDR therapy is a powerful technique that uses rhythmic left-right eye movements to help you recover from trauma and other distressing experiences. Research shows that this therapy is faster and more effective than other therapies. During EMDR sessions, your therapist will guide you through an eight-phase treatment method. These phases include history taking, client preparation, assessment, desensitization, installation, body scan, and closure. During the session, your therapist will use their hand or a light bar that pulses back and forth or audio cues to distract you from the disturbing memory.