EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a unique and cutting edge psychotherapy that helps people heal from the trauma and distress caused by painful and often frightening life experiences. Current research has shown that EMDR helps facilitate healing for people in a way that used to take years with traditional psychotherapy.
Each of us experiences hurts and wounds throughout the day, all as part of the normal experience of being a living, breathing human. A good night of sleep can often be a salve for these daily wounds. Indeed, it is the sleep cycle itself that serves the purpose of healing the mind. Due to bilateral stimulation of the brain during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) portion of the sleep cycle, our brain is able to decrease our sensitivity and process the hurts of the previous day, storing these as memories of past events so that we can wake up the next day feeling free to brave the world again.
This is all part of the normal, natural function of human life.
Sometimes, however, people endure such severe hurts and/or chronic traumas in life that such events do not register as mere blips on the radar, as things that happened in the past. Instead, they are re-experienced in the present, as if they are currently happening. These traumas or wounds get encoded in our brains as fragments, small images, impressions, sounds, smells filling the body with a highly charged response without the words to articulate or narrate the experience. This trauma becomes implicit memory. Implicit memory is timeless, so any time something reminds our brain of the traumatic experience, we don’t merely remember it, we experience it over again.
When this happens a variety of things can take place:
- Emotional outbursts
- Negative self-view
- Reactions to events that don’t make rational sense
When the brain and body is able to process the trauma and the emotions associated with it, the experience becomes explicit memory. We are able to narrate the event without reliving it. This empowers the brain to give word and narration to those memories that were once fragmented. Through this process, survivors of trauma find that they are able to communicate their suffering, allowing them to not only feel peace within themselves, but a peace within their relationships as they can share their burden within the safe relationships around them.
While EMDR is a powerful tool to help individuals move forward after trauma, it also has great value as a daily resource for managing everyday stressors. At LifeSong, clients will not only use EMDR in the counseling room, but also will be given tools to apply what they have learned going forward.
EMDR is effective with:
- Trauma and Abuse recovery
- Single Incident Trauma
- Trauma Recovery
- Physical and Sexual Abuse
- Emotional Abuse
- Early Developmental Attachment Ruptures
- Stress Disorders