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Everything You Need To Know
About EMDR Therapy

EMDR therapy

EMDR therapy is one of the most common treatments for dealing with a wide variety of mental disorders. The list includes everything from anxiety, PTSD, depression, to phobias. EDMR is an acronym for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It refers to the exercise that is used to treat mental disorders. Here's what you need to know about EMDR.

You'll Be Working With a Therapist

EMDR Therapy usually requires the guidance of a therapist to help you walk through the exercise. A therapist will help you confront your problem, whether it's a traumatic expression, depression, or phobia. As you are going through the experience, the therapist will direct your eye movement towards various directions.

The theory behind it is that rapid eye movements help your brain process your issues and desensitize the negative feelings or experiences. By processing stuck emotions, negative patterns, and desensitizing your brain, your mental disorders start to have less of an impact on you. You'll need to get multiple sessions of EMDR until your problems disappear or no longer have control over you.

EMDR therapy

How Does Therapy Start?

The therapist will start by talking to you to understand what your problem is. It may take some time to explain what exactly you're dealing with as issues like PTSD can be hard to describe, especially when it comes to figuring out the triggers and how it affects you. After the therapist gets an understanding of what needs to be worked on, the treatment can begin.

The therapist will start explaining to you how EMDR Therapy works. You'll get an idea of what issues need to be addressed to deal with your particular mental disorder. Then both of you will create a plan of action to start the healing process with the EMDR exercises.

What Does EMDR Feel Like?

EMDR is relatively painless. However, you will usually have to bring up the issues that are affecting you. This can be mentally, emotionally, and sometimes physically painful. You may experience anxiety, stomach pain, neck tension, increased heart rate, emotional pain, or sweating as you recall the negative state or the memories that are negatively affecting you.

The actual exercise is straightforward. The therapist will direct you to move your eyes in various directions as you recall your feelings and/or memories. The eye movements can be done either with your eyes open or closed. The eye movements will start out slow and start to increase in speed. Remember, the idea behind this technique is to desensitize you to the negative emotions and memories.

Other Things The Therapist Will Do

The therapist will also start to you think of positive feelings and experiences to negate the negative ones during the process. Sometimes, you'll have to focus on the part of your body to see where the emotional pain is coming from. For example, you may feel the tension on your neck and chest while re-experiencing a traumatic memory.

What It Feels Like After The Session

The therapist will run you through these exercises multiple times. When the session is over, you may feel mentally, emotionally, and/or physically tired. The therapist will advise you to keep track of your progress as you continue getting receiving treatments. You should see a significant improvement in multiple treatment sessions.

You'll also get some practical advice on how to deal with various issues. For example, you'll be given exercises on how to deal with PTSD or anxiety when it hits you. It's important to have exercises that can help you cope and get back to the present. After all, you can't always expect to do the EMDR exercises when you're dealing with an issue.

This a general overview of what you can expect from EMDR. Every therapist may do something a little different, but the fundamentals will usually be the same. Many patients report improvements within three sessions, but results will vary from person to person and also based on the issue that the patient is dealing with.


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