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EMDR therapyTrauma affects our lives in so many ways. Our thoughts and emotions can feel controlled by our trauma, causing us to feel stuck in the past. As desperate as we are to move forward and live peacefully, the flashbacks and memories of painful events seep into our lives involuntarily and we find it increasingly difficult to escape it. Luckily, there are many different treatments that are proven to be exceptionally helpful in healing from trauma. One of the most effective treatments being utilized today is EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Those of us who suffer from trauma or PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, may be familiar with EMDR. Others of us might have never heard of this type of treatment. Understanding what EMDR is and how it works can be incredibly beneficial in the healing process from trauma and PTSD. 


What Is EMDR?

EMDR was created with the purpose of treating those of us who suffer from PTSD and general trauma. It’s a very direct process, that has been proven to lead to healing faster than some long-term styles of treatment. While it is a faster and effective process, it is a vigorous form of treatment. The central idea is that tending to the mental trauma gives the body time to heal from physical trauma. If you suffer an injury, your body is able to heal, given that the injury isn’t made worse by irritating it. If our trauma is still causing us pain and anguish and we are stuck in the cycle of revisiting it, this is the same as continuously irritating our injury. We aren’t giving it space and time to heal. We are stuck, and we need to overcome the blockage that is preventing us from moving forward. EMDR focuses on alleviating the distress and pain that is tied to your traumatic experiences by reliving them with a mental health professional who specializes in EMDR. Of course, this can be very overwhelming. The specialist or therapist you work with will guide you through specific memories and events in very small doses. 


As you talk about these experiences, it will be accompanied by bilateral stimulation, or visual stimuli, sounds, and movements that have a side-to-side rhythm. An example of this can be wearing headphones producing a low tone sound that moves from ear to ear. Another example is focusing your eyes on a light that moves back and forth. This is a fascinating process for many reasons. Bilateral stimulation has proven to reduce stress and worry, and even be extremely relaxing for your brain and body. Considering this, it makes talking about your trauma much easier, as it can remove the blockage that your mind creates to keep you stuck in your trauma. It also creates a distancing effect between you and the painful memories, that make them feel farther away and less of a threat or a trigger for you, so that you can address them in a safer space. The use of bilateral stimulation can help you to work through unprocessed trauma and find closure, making you less vulnerable to the suffering and pain from your past. 


EDMR is a powerful and incredible form of treatment, though it does require patience and commitment. This treatment occurs over a process of 8 different stages. These stages progress through life phases: the past, the present, and the future. Acknowledging the painful memories from your past can help you to understand and work through how your trauma is presently causing you to suffer. Once these areas are addressed, you can work through healthy coping mechanisms for the future and build a toolkit of positive attitudes and skills to help you move forward. 


What Are the Benefits of EMDR?

There are so many wonderful benefits of using EMDR to treat your PTSD. First and foremost, it is one of the best treatments available today to help you recover from your trauma. Additionally, EMDR is shown to help treat anxiety, depression, grief, nightmares, and even being the target of bullying. All forms of abuse and experiences can be perceived as traumatic. Over a long period of time, trauma can cause us to form negative beliefs surround our self-worth and self-esteem. Another incredible benefit of EMDR is that is can help to change these beliefs. We give a lot of power to the negative self-talk and perceptions we have about ourselves. They carry a lot of pain and do more damage to our mental and emotional health than we even realize. Through EMDR, we can change those negative beliefs, and take away their power. We can realize that those beliefs are tied to only one interpretation and that other positive perceptions are possible and more truthful. 


As we recover from our past and our present issues, EMDR is significantly helpful in our on-going growth. Removing the things that keep you stuck in the past can help you move forward and discover your true potential. The process can help you develop healthier coping mechanisms that you can employ as stress and anxiety appear in daily life. Instead of returning to habits of suffering, you can find relief much faster using these skills. You’ll find that you improve every day as you strengthen your ability to process distress. 


Although the recovery process in healing from trauma may seem intimidating, it is possible. Living your life trapped in pain, fear, and sadness isn’t the only option for you, no matter what you’ve experienced. You are worthy of a fulfilling life, full of joy and potential so that you can be your best self and find peace. While there are many routes to treat PTSD, exploring EMDR as an option may be very valuable and fast-track the healing process. Relief is possible, and EMDR might be the way to reach it. Talk with your therapist or psychologist to see if EMDR could be right for you. 

Are you ready to take the first step on your journey to recovery?

Call The Guest House today at 855-483-7800.