EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an evidence-based therapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.
EMDR uses eye movements, or other types of bilateral (both sides of the body) stimulation to help bring the logical side of the brain into reprocessing a trauma memory. In doing so, the therapist can assist in reprocessing the memory while alleviating associated emotional or physical distress. The ability to reprocess or view the memory from a safe space takes away the impact on daily life.
The process of how EMDR works in the brain is complicated. If you would like more information about it, visit EMDRia.org.
How to prepare for EMDR -
Before engaging in EMDR therapy, we will explore your current coping skills and strengthen positive memories using guided imagery, relaxation, and bilateral stimulation. We will discuss the process and you should know that you will always be in charge of whether to continue, break, or stop for the day.
What to Expect after EMDR therapy -
Sometimes people feel tired after an EMDR session. Your brain has done a lot of work. I recommend that you focus the rest of your day on taking care of yourself. Rest, if needed, drink lots of water, get good nutrition. If possible, end your day early. Planning your sessions on days off, or at the end of your work day might make it easier.
In the time between sessions, you should note any unusual thoughts, memories, dreams, or feelings. You may feel an improvement in mood or energy. If the memory you have been reprocessing is complete, you will likely be relieved of distress or emotional symptoms; you will feel “lighter”.
Goals of EMDR therapy -
Decrease or end distress related to traumatic memories, or core beliefs that aren’t serving you.
Have a more positive outlook when it comes to your symptoms - be able to recognize your strengths.
Improved quality of life and daily functioning.
Brave Path Counseling EMDR Therapist -
A’nna Jurich was trained in EMDR initially in 2003. She has attended several additional webinars and in person training on EMDR.
This is a therapy she uses frequently, but not exclusively; no one therapy seems to be the answer for everyone. She incorporates EMDR with talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and mindfulness training to help individuals develop the skills they need to both prepare to address trauma, and to continue to grow in their ability to face every day or unexpected life challenges.