Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is a therapy technique developed by Francine Shapiro utilizing bilateral brain stimulation to treat and facilitate processing of distressing thoughts, core beliefs, and/or events. By using side to side eye movement or hand tapping techniques while recalling the distressing thought or event, the stuck “debris” is processed through the central nervous system and and new neuro-pathways are created resulting in reduced anxiety, nightmares or interrupted sleep, and repetitive thought patterns.
What to expect…
If you are interested in utilizing this cutting edge approach, your clinician, Jim or Tracey will first guide you through the process and help you prepare through exploration of history and teach you emotion regulation skills to help you manage distressing thoughts and symptoms.
Before you begin the EMDR, your clinician will walk you through choosing a container to hold extraneous thoughts. This container can be real or imagined. This container is not designed to shove things under the rug and suppress them, but rather hold onto these things so they can be dealt with in subsequent sessions. The clinician will also walk you through choosing a safe place, happy place you can visit in your mind if unpleasant emotions become overwhelming. Again, this place can be real or imagined and can be helpful during the process of EMDR or even as a tool for managing anxiety or post-trauma stress symptoms.
After compiling a history of distressing events and being equipped with emotion regulation tools, you will begin the process of EMDR. Your clinician will likely use hand tappers that are like little buzzers you hold in each hand. Your clinician will adjust the frequency and intensity to your liking. You will describe a snapshot of the event of the thought, identify the emotion attached to the thought or event, where you feel it in your body, and the negative core belief attached to it. Then, you will take a few minutes to observe what unfolds. During the whole process, your clinician will guide you and monitor your response. Many clients experience significant relief even after the first session.