EMDR is one of the most exciting methodologies for treating painful, difficult or traumatic events that have happened in your life.
Typically, after someone experiences abuse, a natural disaster, an accident or deployment that person has feelings of fear, anxiety, helplessness or sadness. If those emotions do not resolve on their own, they end up affecting the person’s behavior, choices and of course their relationships.
So here is how EMDR works – we believe that at night when we are sleeping, dreaming and our eyes are going back and forth (REM sleep) that this is the brain’s natural way of processing emotions in the lambic system and then putting the resulting facts in the frontal cortex ( our filing cabinet). So, if something happened yesterday that annoyed you, you sleep, dream, eyes go back and forth and then the next day you remember what happened but it doesn’t bother you.
But there are some things, traumatic events, that overwhelm the brain and nervous system. And the feelings basically get stuck in the lambic system. So these feelings continue to get triggered in our present life and resulting in being angrier or more depressed than usual, or avoiding going places or drinking to stop feeling. EMDR can help.
There is an 8 step protocol so there is some set up time. But the part you are interested in is this – I would have you focus on an upsetting, traumatic memory, the emotion that goes with it and where you feel that emotion in your body. Then we stimulate the brain bi-laterally with “pulsers that buzz bi-laterally in your hands. And tyour brain takes over! You don’t have do anything! The image will start to change, the emotions will start to change. And at the end of the session, you will not feel as strongly towards this event.
After a few sessions, you will be able to say “That was a bad thing that happened but I don’t feel anything about it.” And you will find that your present world is different – anxiety will be less, anger will diminish and you will be able to feel and interact with others in new, healthy ways.
I know this may sound a little unusual and you are probably skeptical but here is the truth – the Department of Defense endorses it as the treatment for PTSD for soldiers coming from the battlefield, the World Health Organization endorses it as a primary treatment for trauma.
I love having the opportunity to offer this powerful modality to my clients. It is a privilege to see the healing that takes place for them.