EDMR

WHAT IS EMDR

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EMDR is a therapy modality that has been recognized by the American Psychiatric Association to effectively treat PTSD.  TODAY with advanced research and the contributions of therapists and researchers all over the world, it is considered to be a breakthrough therapy technique for resolving symptoms resulting from a broad range of emotional and physical conditions such as depression, anxiety, addiction and phobias in addition to traumatic experiences.

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing.  It uses a structured approach of bilateral stimulation to address past, present and future aspects of disturbing memories.  You are always conscious and in complete control of the sessions.  It s not necessary to disclose details or discuss events that cause discomfort; it is only necessary that you recall those events in your mind to access the emotions they create.  The result is two-fold: first, thinking of the disturbing event is no longer bothersome; and second, the irrational belief is no longer felt to be true.  Once one believes and feels they are lovable, worthwhile, deserving, significant, empowered, safe, etc., the anxieties and depression lift.

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HOW DOES IT WORK

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When a disturbing event happens, that event does not get effectively processed.  Rather, that event becomes trapped and frozen in the brain and in our nervous system.  Therefore, the past memory of that event continues to get trapped in the present erupting the same feelings, emotions and irrational beliefs that were associated with the event.

For example, suppose you were a child of a divorce living with your mother and you had exciting plans for the day you were to be with your father.  You recall how you were waiting by the door, ready to go, in anticipation only to learn that your father is not going to come. As a child, you do not rationally and maturely consider the reasons – all you know is that someone special did not show up for you and you feel you are not important to them, definitely not a priority and that perhaps you DON’T MATTER at all.

Now in adulthood your spouse minimizes a birthday or your boss overlooks your efforts.  That old message – that seed planted in childhood – is trapped and those irrational beliefs of “I DON’T MATTER” are once again triggered along with all of the feelings and emotions of that childhood event, often making it difficult to function or cope with the world around you.

While EMDR cannot erase memories, it can facilitate a reprocessing of the disturbing memory so that you can recall the event without discomfort (a heaving chest, a knot in your stomach, a tear in your eye) and without pulling up that deeply held belief, “I DON’T MATTER.”  Your father canceling a plan will no longer be a reflection of you and who you are as a person.  Your boss overlooking your efforts will simply appear to be his wrongdoing.  In other words, your past pain will be resolved and cease to negatively impact your present, leaving freedom to live better now and in the future.

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