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An Ultimate Guide to Understanding EMDR

By Alyssa Martinez @ItsMariaAlyssa

EMDR is a therapy that has been around for about thirty years. It was initially used to treat PTSD but has since expanded into other areas of mental health treatment, including anxiety and depression. The focus of the therapy is on past experiences that are affecting current functioning. It includes memories, thoughts, or feelings related to those events. In the Financial District, NY, centers are ready to offer an EMDR procedure. With a reliable Financial District EMDR specialist, you can be confident of efficiently dealing with trauma.

What is EMDR?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It involves a trained therapist using a set of techniques that include eye movements and tapping on the left side of your body while you think about what happened during the trauma. These two elements work together to help you process the negative emotions associated with your past experiences, ultimately helping you refocus on the present.

How Does it Work?

Traumatic events are stored in the brain for longer than our normal memory processes can account for. Traumatic memories are associated with fight, flight, freeze responses that rely on different brain parts than usual memory functions.

These memories can come back days, months, or even years later and be triggered by various things like sounds, pictures, or smells. It can make it hard to function in your daily life because you relate everything to the traumatic event. They are often intrusive and upsetting.

This is where EMDR comes in by helping you process the memory without reliving it (which is harmful). You will get past these intrusive memories and not let them interfere with your daily life.

The goal of EMDR is to process the traumatic memory in a way that makes room for new information and experiences. It involves;

  • Identifying disturbing feelings, emotions, and sensations related to trauma or the issue at hand.
  • Rate the intensity of these feelings on a scale from 1-10.
  • Imagine a positive image in your mind that feels calming and safe. At the same time, tap with your left hand while you follow along with your right index finger. This test is called bilateral stimulation.

The Benefits of Using EMDR

There are several positive features of using EMDR to help you process your memories including, but not limited to:

  • The content of the memory is not the focus. Instead, it's getting rid of any negative emotions related to the trauma. Therefore, you can move past them and live in the present. It allows you to focus on positive, present experiences.
  • You are only asked to think about the trauma without talking about it at length. It can be difficult for some people, especially if they have experienced trauma early in their lives and have never spoken about it before.
  • It's fast. Most people see results within six sessions. The goal of EMDR is to process negative feelings and memories as quickly as possible.

EMDR is a therapy that has been around for about thirty years. It was initially used to treat PTSD but has since expanded into other areas of mental health treatment, including anxiety and depression. The focus of the therapy is on past experiences that are affecting current functioning. It includes memories, thoughts, or feelings related to those events. Finding the right EMDR specialist is crucial.


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