Eugene Oregon EMDR Therapy

What is EMDR?

     EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a relatively new psychotherapy technique that has been proven effective in treating a range of mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and addiction. The therapy involves a series of guided eye movements, hand tapping, or other forms of bilateral stimulation that are believed to help process traumatic memories and emotions. We will discuss the benefits and risks of EMDR therapy, what to expect during a session, and who may benefit from this form of treatment.

     EMDR therapy was developed in the late 1980s by psychologist Francine Shapiro. She observed that when she moved her eyes from side to side while thinking about a distressing memory, the memory became less vivid and emotionally charged. She theorized that this bilateral stimulation could help reprocess traumatic memories and emotions.

Potential Benefits & Risks

EMDR therapy has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of mental health conditions, particularly those related to trauma. Some of the benefits of EMDR therapy include:

  • Relief from symptoms: EMDR therapy may help to reduce symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, depression, and addiction.
  • Faster results: EMDR therapy can produce results more quickly than other forms of therapy, with some clients reporting relief after just a few sessions.
  • Safe and non-invasive: EMDR therapy is a non-invasive treatment that does not involve medication or invasive procedures.
  • Long-lasting results: The effects of EMDR therapy can be long-lasting, with clients reporting continued improvement even after the therapy has ended.
  • Improved self-esteem: EMDR therapy can help clients develop a more positive self-image by addressing negative beliefs and replacing them with positive ones.

Possible risks include:

  • Emotional distress: EMDR therapy can bring up intense emotions and memories, which can be distressing for some clients.
  • False memories: There is a risk that EMDR therapy may create false memories or distort existing memories.
  • Unpleasant experiences: Some clients may have unpleasant experiences during the therapy, such as feeling overwhelmed or having difficulty controlling their emotions.

What to Expect During an EMDR Session

     An EMDR therapy session typically lasts 60 to 90 minutes. The therapist will first ask the client about their symptoms and their history to understand their personal situation. They will then explain the EMDR process and help the client understand what to expect during the session.

     During the session, the therapist will guide the client through the eight steps of EMDR therapy, starting with relaxation and visualization techniques. The therapist may use eye movements, hand tapping, or other forms of bilateral stimulation to help the client process their traumatic memories and emotions.

     The client will be asked to focus on the distressing memory while simultaneously engaging in the bilateral stimulation. The therapist will check in with the client regularly to ensure that they are feeling grounded and comfortable. The session will end with a debriefing and discussion of any insights or experiences that came up during the session.

1. History taking: The therapist gathers information about the client’s symptoms, personal history, and current situation.

2. Preparation: The therapist teaches the client relaxation and visualization techniques to help them cope with any distressing emotions that may arise during the therapy.

3. Assessment: The therapist identifies the specific memories or experiences that are causing distress and works with the client to identify negative thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations associated with those memories.

4. Desensitization: The therapist guides the client through a series of bilateral stimulation exercises while they focus on the distressing memory. This may involve moving their eyes from side to side, tapping their hands on their thighs, or listening to sounds that alternate between the left and right ears.

5. Installation: The therapist helps the client replace negative thoughts and emotions with positive ones by encouraging them to focus on a positive belief or image while continuing with the bilateral stimulation.

6. Body scan: The therapist asks the client to notice any remaining physical sensations or emotions associated with the distressing memory.

7. Closure: The therapist ensures that the client is feeling calm and grounded before ending the session.

Who Can Benefit From EMDR?

     EMDR therapy can be helpful for anyone who has experienced a traumatic event or has symptoms related to trauma. It has been shown to be effective in treating conditions such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, and addiction.

     EMDR therapy may be particularly helpful for individuals who have tried other forms of therapy without success or who are struggling with persistent negative beliefs and emotions related to past experiences.

     EMDR therapy is a powerful tool that can help individuals process traumatic memories and emotions. While there are some potential risks and side effects, the benefits of EMDR therapy can be life-changing for those struggling with trauma-related conditions.

     If you are interested in exploring EMDR therapy, it is important to find a qualified and experienced therapist who can guide you through the process. With the right support, EMDR therapy can be a powerful tool for healing and growth

Eugene Oregon EMDR Therapists