When you’re trying to work through difficult things, it helps to know you have options. Traditional talk therapy is great, but what if you don’t feel that conventional talk therapy is for you? There are options, and EMDR is one of those options. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing. It is one of the top forms of therapy for emotional resolution. It has been extensively researched and shows promise with several types of psychological distress.
What is EMDR?
We create memories differently when we are calm versus when we are under stress. Sometimes, those memories can get stuck or can leave pieces and parts in different parts of the brain. EMDR uses bilateral or alternating stimulation to reach each side of the brain and help the brain work through and “integrate” this information into one cohesive memory. The most common form of stimulation used is eye movements. However, we can also use sounds or taps.
How is EMDR different?
Trauma therapists really love EMDR. Why? Because it doesn’t require conscious effort like traditional talk therapy. The way EMDR is often described is that you are a passenger on a train riding through your brain and noticing the scenery. For whatever reason, the stimulus will jump from neuron to neuron to follow the “path” that your brain has created with this information. This does not require effort on your part, except for answering the question, “what do you notice?” You are not required to actively process, answer questions, strive to make connections, or find words you may not have. It works with the brain’s natural healing process to allow it to heal itself.
Very often, therapists will work with one part of the brain but not the other, so clients end up with resolved thoughts but still have painful feelings, or vice versa. It can be difficult when you finally understand the information but still can’t control your emotions. What we do know is that the body stores information as well. You cannot logic through biology. There is no fighting fight or flight to logic through until the process is over. It can be so tricky! EMDR works to allow the pieces and parts that your body has stored to be fully integrated into the information in the memory so that there are not super sensitive or triggering parts to the memory. It becomes a part of your story instead of an emotional bruise that you can’t stand to approach.
EMDR is also really great with people who are avoidant and can’t stand to work to discuss thoughts and feelings actively. Similarly, those clients that lack words or have an inability to address issues. Moreover, for those who lack emotional vocabulary, it is a more passive, but still very powerful, process for healing.
I Want EMDR, but I Can’t Find a Local Provider.
We are ones of the few providers offering EMDR online! It is an excellent option for a couple of reasons. For example, some people have been injured and cannot drive to or from an office. Others cannot go to an office due to scheduling make it harder. Besides, some clients travel and struggle with predictable schedules or those who cannot find a local provider. In fact, we were also offering the first-ever EMDR online group! Using a particular computer program, we can do EMDR just as if we were in the office.
If you feel EMDR may be an option for you, please reach out, and we can schedule you today!