What is EMDR Therapy?

Trauma can create a plethora of physical and/or emotional wounds that never fully heal. Devastating events can cause a rupture to our lives, making us question what our lives are truly about. Nightmares, flashbacks, paranoia, anxiety, depression, and more can easily manifest into post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), even years after the event occurred. In order for our mind, body, and spirit to heal from these wounds, we must engage in restorative, healing practices to nurture what was damaged from significant distress. Thankfully, many wonderful techniques have been developed over the years, with proven effectiveness in treating PTSD. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy is a wonderful treatment approach that can help you find healing and balance in your life.

An integrative, psychotherapy approach, EMDR sessions involve 8 phases: 1) history and treatment planning, 2) preparation, 3) assessment, 4) desensitization, 5) installation, 6) body scan, 7) closure, and 8) re-evaluation. First, a therapist will speak with you about the distress you’re experiencing in your daily life. You may briefly mention moments that have caused you to feel the way you do. During the preparation phase, your therapist will provide you with some relaxation techniques to try whenever you’re feeling emotionally disturbed. During the third phase, the clinician will ask you to recall an image from an upsetting event, and to verbalize the negative emotions you’re experiencing with a statement such as, “I am worthless”. You will then pick a positive statement that you’d rather believe in place of that. During phase 4, your therapist will guide you with eye movement exercises while also helping you work through similar events that have branched off the one that has sparked your distress. From there, your clinician will work with you to strengthen your positive belief – the goal is to help you achieve this positive statement as part of your absolute truth.

Phase 6 involves helping you scan your body while recalling the negative event to find any residual, unresolved thoughts. The clinician will be able to tell that EMDR therapy was successful if you are able to recall the event without experiencing any body tension. Phases 7 and 8 involve closure and re-evaluation, to provide you with the support you need to heal and to see if your positive effects from therapy have been maintained. EMDR therapy is a wonderful component to recovery that can allow you to work through damaging beliefs that have derived from unfortunate events. Take the steps you need towards your health and wellbeing, starting today.

Avalon Integrative Wellness offers an innovative approach to wellness and the exciting brand shift of our program emphasizes the importance of integrative wellness through experiential frameworks. Clients at Avalon Integrative Wellness learn, act, experience, grow, heal, and evolve, concurrently. If you’re ready to optimize your health and well-being, call us today at 888-266-9048.

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