EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, one of many treatment modalities used for treating trauma. Psychotherapists believe it helps patients move past traumatic events and to live healthier lives.


When is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Used?

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is used for children and adults who suffer from a wide range of mental health problems. The mental illnesses that benefit most from EMDR are:

  • Anxiety & panic attack maladies
  • Phobias
  • Eating disorders
  • Sexual assault
  • Chronic illness
  • Insomnia
  • Depression and Bipolar disorders
  • Substance Use Disorders
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Post Traumatic Syndrome Disorder (PTSD) and Complex Trauma
  • Childhood Abuse

It is important to note that Cognitive Behavior therapy (CBT) is another treatment modality used for the same disorders. While EMDR and CBT are similar, EMDR is slightly different in teaching you to retrain your response. By using physical sensations and eye movements, you are retraining your brain.

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How Does EMDR Therapy Work

To truly understand how the therapy works, you must understand the eight phases of the treatment.

  • History and Treatment Planning
  • Preparation
  • Assessment
  • Desensitization
  • Installation
  • Body Scan
  • Closure
  • Reevaluation

When the patient begins the actual treatment, it is in the Preparation phase. Here they revisit traumatic experiences and distressing thoughts. It allows the compassionate therapist to understand how they respond to their emotions relating to that thought or traumatic event. This overlaps with the assessment phase as well.

Next, the individual must focus on bilateral stimulation while bringing the disturbing memories to mind. The therapist will move their finger from side to side, and their eyes follow. This involves both sides of the brain, and positive thought is “installed” to take the place of the negative thought. It is believed that the left side of the brain will be able to soothe the right side where it has been previously blocked.

This all leads to a peaceful resolution with traumatic experiences and healthy coping skills for future stress.

How Long Does it Take EMDR Therapy to be Successful?

Clients vary when it comes to EMDR therapy. It is important to know that each reprocessing therapy session lasts 60 to 90 minutes. Many people can find success after just three sessions. Others with intense, complex trauma may find themselves needing up to 12 sessions. No matter how long it takes, a person who chooses to begin healing is doing themselves a huge favor.

Is Talk Therapy Required with EMDR?

Many folks use eye movement desensitization when talk therapy has not worked well for them. Talk therapy can be used at the same time but is often not utilized. If you have been in talk therapy or group therapy of any kind and still struggle with negative thoughts and panic attacks, EMDR may be what you need.EMDR Therapy at Profound Treatment

You can find a licensed psychotherapist at our facility that can assist you with EMDR. Our therapists are trained in the trauma resiliency model to best help clients in Los Angeles, CA. Trauma treatment is hard, and we want to ensure you have the best coping skills to combat the negative beliefs that plague your mind. Call us today, and let’s talk about how to relieve your suffering best.

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