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I don’t know if you’ve heard of EMDR or not. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It’s an amazing kind of therapy developed by Francine Shapiro to help people through traumas big and small.
EMDR has been used to treat a whole bunch of different concerns. These include:
|· Complicated grief
|· Peak performance
|· Panic attacks
|· Sleep problems
|· Performance anxiety
|· Developmental trauma
Although this list isn’t complete, it gives you a good idea of just how powerful EMDR can be.
A therapist providing EMDR needs to be trained to use it because there are strict protocols to follow. Part of this includes helping you develop the tools and resources to be able to manage intense feelings that may come up during or after the session. This also includes helping you learn how to take care of yourself. Once you are able to do these things, s/he will move onto the next part of therapy described below.
The therapist will ask you some questions about the traumatic experience. This will include asking you to think about the worst part of the experience which will become the target, and a negative belief you’ve developed because of the event. For example, “I’ll never get over this.” S/he also asks you to think about what you’d rather believe about yourself. It might be something like, “It’s over. I can move on with my life.”
After this, you’re asked how true you think the positive belief is on a scale when it’s paired with the traumatic experience. You’re then asked how disturbing the event seems to you now, to identify feelings you have about it, and where you feel those feelings in your body.
The therapist will begin taking you through sets of eye movements. At the outset, s/he will ask you to hold onto the image of the event and the negative belief while s/he moves her/his hands back and forth. Thoughts will spontaneously come up. When the image no longer brings up any disturbing feelings and the positive belief feels totally true, the event is completely processed.
EMDR can do a lot for you if you have a concern listed above. If you’re curious about whether another concern could be helped with EMDR, contact me. Want things to get better? Let’s chat.