How Is EMDR used for Trauma Treatment?

How Is EMDR used for Trauma Treatment?

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of psychotherapy that helps people heal from trauma. You can get well and process your past if you seek professional treatment.

What Is PTSD?

A common reaction to trauma is posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), an anxiety disorder that can develop when someone experiences an event that includes grave physical harm (incurred or threatened). Traumatic events may include the following examples:

  • Violent personal assault
  • Threat of death to oneself or someone else
  • Natural or human-caused disasters
  • Threats to physical, sexual or psychological integrity
  • Accidents
  • Military combat

PTSD can be the impetus for substance abuse and other behaviors that cripple a person’s quality of life.

Acute and Chronic Trauma

Acute trauma is often associated with a single event; such as a car accident or witnessing a violent event. On the other hand, chronic trauma means life-threatening incidents occur repeatedly, such as long-term child abuse or living in a domestically violent environment

Reactions to Trauma

Whether someone experiences PTSD or acute/chronic trauma, he may demonstrate any of the following problems:

  • Panic reactions
  • Mental confusion
  • Dissociation
  • Severe insomnia
  • Suspiciousness
  • Confusion
  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Rage

Many trauma survivors feel incapable to manage themselves and lose focus at work or school.

EMDR and Trauma Treatment

The concept behind EMDR is that the mind wants to stay balanced and can heal from trauma. If the brain experiences an imbalance from trauma, it often goes untreated, which can cause suffering. However, if the block can be removed, then healing can occur. The American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association and the Department of Defense all believe EMDR can treat trauma.

An EMDR session usually involves a patient discussing traumatic memories while following a therapist’s hand with his eyes. This bilateral stimulation is connected with rapid eye movement, or REM sleep. In this way, patients transform how they process trauma, which enables them to feel empowered by the very experiences that once debased them. As a result of EMDR, many people increase their self awareness and the beliefs that contributed to their distress. More importantly, they know how to calm themselves when they experience symptoms.

Getting help with trauma can change your life. EMDR not only helps you heal from trauma, but it also makes you feel empowered in the process. While this form of psychotherapy is relatively new, it has been extremely successful.