EMDR therapy that heals traumas

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Louise Barnett
Louise Barnetthttps://yogamag.info/
I'm Louise Barnett, the editor at Yogamag.info, where my days are filled with the exploration of myriad subjects that pique my curiosity and feed my ever-growing appetite for knowledge. From the latest in laser cutting technology to the timeless wisdom of yoga and meditation, my work allows me to dive deep into topics that not only fascinate me but also have the potential to improve our daily lives. I have a particular interest in how ancient practices meet modern life, leading me to explore everything from Ayurveda to minimalism and beyond. My journey has taught me the importance of balance—between innovation and tradition, action and reflection, and between the digital and the natural world. Each article I publish is a step towards understanding this balance better, hoping to inspire others along the way.

EMDR therapy, or“Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing,” which in Polish we can translate as Eye MovementDesensitization Therapy, is a method of treating painful and traumatic experiences. This mysterious-sounding therapy, is not a form of alternative medicine, but the result of more than 30 years of clinical work and research on its effectiveness.

EMDR therapy what is it?

Francine Shapiro developed EMDR Therapy in the United States more than 30 years ago, and today it is an ever-evolving and increasingly popular method in psychotherapy. Francine Shapiro, noticed how rapid and repetitive eye movements, performed in a certain way, have the effect of reducing disturbing thoughts and emotions. Thanks to years of research, this method has become very popular in the US, while in Europe every year, there are more and more supporters. The World Health Organization and the American Psychiatric Association, recommend this method for treating trauma. The EMDR method can only be carried out by trained doctors and psychotherapists, as it is based on a detailed protocol consisting of 8 consecutive phases. Thanks to the integration of selected elements of other therapeutic methods, combined with the stimulation of the brain hemispheres, the processing of information in the brain system takes place, and this, so to speak, programs the mind in such a way that the acute memory is “healed.”

EMDR therapy for whom?

EMDR is dedicated to people who have experienced painful and traumatic experiences and through which they struggle with mental blocks, difficulties and fears. The method is also recommended for those struggling with phobias, addictions, obsessive-compulsive disorders and depression. Traumatic disorders are defined as anxiety disorders that can arise, as a reaction to immediate threats to life, such as accidents, natural disasters, war traumas, violence (physical and psychological), sexual abuse. Increasingly, EMDR therapy is being used during crisis intervention, as well as in working with chronic and phantom pain. Some people, after difficult experiences, return to their previous lives without traumatic symptoms, but there are also those who cannot forget the trauma. In their case, this manifests itself:

  • constant replaying in thought of the difficult experience,
  • dreaming about it,
  • living in constant tension,
  • uncontrollable emotions that may become activated in a situation that may resemble in some way, the traumatic experience.
  • Avoiding specific places or crowds of people – extremely full social isolation.

EMDR in practice

What does EMDR therapy look like in practice?

During meetings with a psychotherapist, the patient recalls his traumatic experience. Before the session, he or she is prepared by the practitioner in charge for what might follow. Revisiting painful memories is very difficult for many. However, in this therapy, it is essential to be able to heal one’s life. When recalling a traumatic memory during a session, the patient focuses on thoughts, emotions and bodily reactions while gazing at the therapist’s hand, which makes (usually) swinging motions with the hand, stimulating both of the patient’s hemispheres. Sometimes he also uses tactile and acoustic stimuli. Despite the return of traumatic memories, the patient begins to feel relief, and stress and tension are reduced.

What does EMDR therapy provide?

Of course, EMDR therapy in its conception is to help heal the trauma. Therapy is always an individual matter, with some patients needing only a few sessions, others may take months, and some may take years of therapy. A single session usually lasts between 50 and 90 minutes, its duration may depend on the patient’s reaction and emotional state. EMDR itself allows, among other things: to understand the occurrence of the problem, what is the function of reactions to the reactions and emotions that occur, where do the said reactions come from. The method also makes it possible to find the key memory in which the problem arose. This is not always obvious. Sometimes traumas manifest themselves through physical reactions, emotional states, but the patient does not remember in which situation the problem arose. EMDR allows the patient to process the traumatic event in consciousness so that the heavy memory becomes a closed chapter. The method is supposed to be so effective that the memory will no longer interfere with normal, functioning. The desired consequence of the therapy is a return to balance in the patient’s daily life.

EMDR therapy is a method that has brought relief to many patients – both in the United States, where it has gained popularity, and in Europe. Neither is an alternative faction of medicine, but thanks to years of research and success in practice, it is a valued method by doctors and psychologists for treating trauma, anxiety and phobias.

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