Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR) is a unique form of psychotherapy designed to diminish negative feelings associated with memories of traumatic events. Unlike psychotherapy itself, however, EMDR therapy focuses more on the upsetting emotions and symptoms as opposed to the traumatic event. Before we investigate how EMDR can assist those with PTSD, let’s look at how this form of therapy began.

In 1987, Francine Shapiro, a California psychologist, was experiencing a host of disturbing thoughts from past traumatic incidences. She went for a walk in the woods to help her clear her mind, but what she found was much more: she found that moving her eyes back and forth while observing her surroundings helped her to experience some relief. She later tried it with many other clients, who also found her method to benefit them – from that point, EMDR was born.

EMDR therapy works by providing distraction, relaxation, synchronization of the brain’s two hemispheres, and simulation of eye movements while a patient follows both-and-forth finger movements made by their therapist. While clients are doing this, they also learn to replace negative thought habits such as “I’ll never get better” to more positive ones, such as “I can and will get better if I keep trying every day.” EMDR therapy has been used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety disorders, depression, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and the psychological distress experienced from cancer.

If you’ve been struggling with PTSD, EMDR therapy could be a great option for you if:

  • You’ve lost productivity at work or home due to PTSD symptoms
  • You’ve still been feeling depressed, lonely, or angry, despite attempts to move on with your life
  • You’ve been frustrated by emotions that seem out of control
  • You’ve been dealing with phobias
  • You’ve sought out therapy many times but still haven’t found any relief
  • You want to overcome self-defeating thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
  • Your emotions have been ruling your life, despite many therapy attempts
  • You want to get at the root cause of your symptoms
  • You want to reduce stress and decrease its negative impact on your health

Speak with someone at a reputable treatment center today to learn if EMDR therapy could be a great fit for you.

Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.

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