EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a form of psychotherapy that is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. It is believed to work by helping the brain process and integrate traumatic memories, reducing their negative impact on the individual.
After an EMDR session, individuals may experience a range of reactions. Some people may feel emotional “stirred up” and may need some time to process the feelings and thoughts that have come up during the session. Others may have a sense of relief or feel more relaxed. It is not uncommon for people to have vivid dreams or memories of the traumatic event following EMDR. It is important to talk with your therapist about any reactions you have after a session, as they may be able to provide guidance and support.
Overall, EMDR is generally considered to be a safe and effective treatment for a variety of mental health conditions. However, as with any form of therapy, it is important to work with a qualified and trained therapist to ensure that you receive the best possible care.
Some of the Research Studies About the Effectiveness of EMDR in Treating Mental Health Conditions
- A study published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress in 2002 found that EMDR was effective in treating PTSD in individuals who had experienced a variety of traumatic events, including sexual abuse, combat, and natural disasters.
- A meta-analysis of studies on EMDR for the treatment of PTSD published in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders in 2014, found that EMDR was as effective as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in treating PTSD symptoms.
- A study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 2017 found that EMDR was effective in treating depression in individuals with a history of traumatic events.
- A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology in 2018 found that EMDR was an effective treatment for social anxiety disorder.
It’s important to keep in mind that EMDR is not a one-size-fits-all treatment, and its effectiveness may vary depending on the specific condition and individual. It is always best to talk to a licensed therapist or psychiatrist to determine if EMDR is the right treatment for you.
Based on My Personal Experience, Would I Recommend Anyone with Unresolved Trauma to Try EMDR Therapy?
Based on the research available, it appears that EMDR is a well-established and effective treatment for individuals with unresolved trauma, particularly for those who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Studies have shown that EMDR can effectively reduce symptoms of PTSD, such as re-experiencing traumatic events, avoidance, and hyperarousal.
It is also recommended for other conditions such as anxiety, depression, and other psychological issues that may have been caused by unresolved trauma.
However, it is important to keep in mind that every individual is unique and may respond differently to different treatments. Therefore, it is important to work with a qualified and trained therapist to determine if EMDR is the right treatment for you. It’s also important to note that EMDR should not be considered as a standalone treatment but as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes other therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy, talk therapy, and medication management as needed.
In short, EMDR can be a useful treatment for individuals with unresolved trauma, but it’s important to work with a therapist to determine if it’s the right option for you.
Steps Involved in Administering EMDR
The process of administering EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy typically involves the following steps:
- Assessment: The therapist will conduct a thorough assessment to determine the nature of the trauma and the specific symptoms that are being experienced. They will also assess any other mental health conditions that may be present, such as depression or anxiety.
- Preparation: The therapist will work with the individual to develop coping skills and strategies that can be used before, during, and after EMDR sessions. This will help to ensure that the individual can manage any distress that may arise during the therapy.
- Desensitization: The therapist will guide the individual to focus on a specific traumatic memory or image while engaging in bilateral stimulation (typically eye movements, taps, or tones). This can help to reduce the emotional intensity of the memory and allow the individual to process the trauma in a more adaptive way.
- Installation: The therapist will work with the individual to establish new and positive associations with the traumatic memory, helping the individual to re-process the memory in a way that reduces its negative impact.
- Body scan: This is a process of checking the body for any sensations or feelings that may be present after the desensitization process, which can help to identify any unresolved emotional material.
- Closure: After each session, the therapist will help the individual to return to a state of emotional balance and provide guidance on how to continue processing the trauma in the days and weeks following the session.
- Reevaluation: The therapist will regularly reevaluate the individual’s progress and adjust the treatment plan as needed.
It’s important to note that the number of sessions required to process a traumatic event can vary depending on the individual and the nature of the trauma. The therapist will work with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your needs.
Some Public Figures have Spoken Publicly About their use of EMDR Therapy.
- Lady Gaga, the singer, has spoken about her use of EMDR therapy to treat her PTSD, stemming from her experiences of sexual assault.
- Oprah Winfrey, the talk show host, has spoken about her use of EMDR therapy to help her process a traumatic childhood experience.
- Robert Pattinson, an actor, has spoken about how EMDR therapy helped him to process and cope with the intense media attention surrounding his role in the Twilight film series.
- Glenn Close, an actress, has spoken about her use of EMDR therapy to help her process and cope with the traumatic experiences of her childhood.
It’s important to note that these are only a few examples, many other public figures may have also used EMDR therapy but have chosen not to speak about it publicly.
Explore Our Featured Online Therapy Sponsors:
Commissions we earn from partner links on this page do not affect our opinions or evaluations. Our editorial content is based on thorough research and guidance from reputable medical journals, research institutes, and medical libraries.
Read our Medical Disclaimer here