When we experience a traumatic event, our brains are not always able to process the memory in the same way as regular memory. This can lead to the memory becoming “stuck” in our brains and can cause us to relive the trauma over and over again.
EMDR therapy, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy, is a type of therapy that helps our brains to reprocess and release these stuck memories. EMDR therapy is based on the theory that our brains have natural healing mechanisms that can be activated with the help of specific eye movements.
When we experience trauma, our brains go into survival mode and shut down certain functions in order to protect us. This can lead to the memories of the trauma becoming “frozen” in our minds. EMDR therapy helps to activate those natural healing mechanisms so that we can process and release those memories, and move on from the trauma.
How EMDR Therapy Works
During each session, you will work with your therapist to identify a specific memory or event that is causing you distress. Once that memory has been identified, you will begin a series of bilateral eye movements (or auditory/tactile stimuli) while focusing on the memory.
These bilateral eye movements help to stimulate both sides of your brain, which allows for the processing of information to take place more quickly. As you focus on the memory while doing these eye movements (or other stimuli), you may start to notice that the intensity of the emotions you feel starts to lessen. You may also start to see the memory in a different light, or from a different perspective.
After an EMDR session, it is normal to feel emotionally weary. You may have experienced a lot of intense emotions during the session, and it can take time to process all of that information. It is important to give yourself time to relax and rest after a session. EMDR is a powerful tool for healing, but it is important to give yourself time and space to adjust after each session. With patience and care, you will eventually reach a place of peace and balance.
If you are struggling with symptoms of PTSD or other mental health issues related to trauma, EMDR therapy may be a good option for you. EMDR therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for reducing symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, depression, and more. If you are ready to start your healing journey, contact us to book a 15-min discovery consultation.