What is EMDR Therapy?

When people think of mental health therapy or counselling, they usually think of talk therapy, a common form of therapy which involves talking with a trained professional about your mental health and working through your concerns mainly through conversation, CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) and other modalities. Although talk therapy is extremely beneficial for most, it is not a one size fits all solution. It can also be enhanced with the additions of some other techniques, EMDR being one of them.

What Is EMDR?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It finds its roots in our sleep patterns. When we sleep at night we enter into a sleep cycle known as REM (Rapid Eye Movement). During this cycle, rapid eye movement helps the brain to process and store your experiences and memories for the day, filing them away in a neat and tidy order. However, sometimes if there is a traumatic incident, our brain is unable to fully process the memory, resulting in triggers leading to symptoms of distress. EMDR helps your brain process and store those files into their proper place, minimizing the triggers and symptoms of distress.

How Does EMDR Work?

“Stress responses are part of our natural fight, flight, or freeze instincts. When distress from a disturbing event remains, the upsetting images, thoughts, and emotions may create an overwhelming feeling of being back in that moment, or of being “frozen in time.” EMDR therapy helps the brain process these memories, and allows normal healing to resume. The experience is still remembered, but the fight, flight, or freeze response from the original event is resolved.” – EMDRIA

EMDR uses bilateral stimulation by using tappers, following the therapists moving their fingers back and forth with your eyes, or tapping. The bilateral stimulation in the brain mimics the same movements that happen during REM sleep, allowing your brain to better process experiences, thoughts and traumas. This technique also allows for reprogramming of negative thoughts or patterns into positive ones.

Is EMDR Scientifically Proven?

Yes – EMDR has been the subject of multiple studies and has proven beneficial for a wide variety of mental health conditions and other concerns.

Who Is A Good Fit For EMDR?

EMDR can help people with many mental health conditions, including:

  • Anxiety & Depression

  • Grief and Loss

  • Bi-polar Disorder

  • PTSD & Trauma

It can also help with other issues such as:

  • Chronic illnesses/pain conditions

  • Eating disorders

  • Sleep disruption or lack of sleep

EMDR can be used on its own or in combination with other modalities, performed by a counsellor, psychologist or other trained professional.  Learn more here: https://www.emdria.org/

Looking for more information related to EMDR or looking to incorporate EMDR into your mental health journey? Contact us today and speak with a member of our team, trained in EMDR.

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