Treating Trauma: The Use Of EMDR To Treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a treatment that has been around for several decades, and it has been highly successful at treating patients suffering emotionally from past traumatic events. While traditional therapy can still be used, EMDR is a therapy designed to alleviate traumatic memories, or make them less intrusive to the sufferer. It's a treatment that has shown that the mind can heal from emotional trauma, much like the body can heal from physical trauma. If you have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, you may want to consider EMDR as a possible treatment to get you back to living a healthy, vibrant life.

How EMDR is Done in a Therapist's Office

First you will need to sit down with a therapist to discuss your history in one or a number of sessions. Your therapist will determine if you are a viable candidate for EMDR, and come up with a plan based on the history you present. You will talk about stressful experiences in your life, both in the past and the present. The goal is to make stressful situations less anxiety producing, giving you the skills you need to handle these situations more effectively. How long ago the trauma was, as well as how many traumatic events you want to deal with, will determine how many sessions of EMDR therapy you will undergo.

Once a Plan for EMDR is Established

The therapist will make sure that you are emotionally ready to handle the turmoil that EMDR often brings. They will teach you meditation or other coping mechanisms, and make sure that these are used effectively before beginning treatment with EMDR. You will bring up traumatic memories, and the therapist wants to be sure that you will be emotionally ready to handle discussing these memories. You will be able to make great strides with your anxiety through the use of EMDR, as long as you have established solid coping mechanisms for yourself.

Treatment with EMDR

You will be asked to identify a visual memory of the traumatic event being treated. You will then tell your therapist how this makes you feel about yourself. You will identify any negative feelings that you have, describing any body sensations that arrive while recollecting the trauma. As you focus, the therapist will use bilateral stimulation (usually tapping on each of your hands back and forth), to help the memory become less traumatic.

It's important to remember that EMDR doesn't hurt, and to work with a qualified therapist who is trained in EMDR if you want to use this therapy to work on healing from your past trauma.