What Are The Benefits of EMDR Therapy?

EMDR Therapy

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can be caused by traumatic events. Often, the most thought of one is military combat, but it can also be caused by natural disasters, car accidents, or assault. PTSD can cause a variety of symptoms, such as anxiety, avoidance, and intrusive thoughts that can affect both physical and mental health. It can make it challenging to go about your daily life and enjoy the activities you once loved.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) is a well-known treatment method for PTSD. It is known to not only be effective in the treatment of PTSD but also in reducing the overall symptoms and pain associated with it. So, what other benefits does EMDR therapy offer to those struggling with PTSD? In this blog, we’ll explore the benefits that EMDR can bring to those living with PTSD.

What is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR is an evidence-based psychotherapy developed by the American psychologist Francine Shapiro. It helps to reduce distress and improve mental health by using eye movement to reprocess traumatic memories. The core principle of EMDR is that the right and left sides of our brains are connected and can help facilitate healing from trauma.

EMDR differs from talk therapy in that it aims not to retraumatize the client by having them relive their experience. Rather, it focuses on desensitizing the memory associated with the trauma. However, EMDR is a more intensive therapy, consisting of 8 stages. Each one of these stages is essential in leading up to the memory reprocessing that occurs during treatment.

How Does EMDR Help Heal Trauma?

As mentioned above, EMDR works to desensitize the memory associated with the trauma and then reprocess it. It uses dual attention stimuli like eye movements, sounds, and tactile taps. This way, the memories, stimuli, and associated emotions can be examined and re-evaluated. It can lessen the triggering effects and intensity of the memory.

By doing this, EMDR works to open up areas of the brain that were previously closed off due to the trauma. This allows for more excellent connectivity and integration of ideas, emotions, memories, and thoughts. EMDR can also help people who are seeking London counselling to recognize any underlying beliefs they may have about themselves that are distorted or unhelpful. For example, “I’m not worthy” or “No one will care about me”. Recognizing these beliefs can help the person come up with new ones to replace them with.

EMDR in Terms of PTSD

When it comes to PTSD, EMDR can be especially helpful in treating the condition. It works to bring relief from the symptoms. These can be flashbacks and nightmares, along with the extreme anxiety and avoidance associated with PTSD. It can also help to reduce physical symptoms like an increased heart rate or sweating, which can occur when certain triggers occur.

When it comes to treating PTSD, EMDR can be used in conjunction with other therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The combination of the two forms of treatment can really tackle the issues that come with PTSD. For example, CBT can help to address the thought patterns and behaviours associated with PTSD, while EMDR helps to reduce the distress associated with traumatic memories. However, EMDR can help replace negative thoughts with positive ones. For example, in the case of PTSD, this could be replacing the thought “I’m not safe” with “I am safe now at this moment.”

The Benefits of Treating PTSD With EMDR

As EMDR is one of the more well-known treatments for PTSD, it is worth exploring the benefits it can offer. As PTSD can be debilitating, it is essential to have effective treatments. One can help you manage the symptoms, reduce distress, and move on with life. Here are some of the benefits that EMDR therapy can offer for those struggling with PTSD:

Rapid Reduction and Relief

With EMDR, people can work through their traumatic memories and begin to experience relief from the symptoms associated with PTSD. This is because EMDR helps to desensitize the memories, triggers, and emotions surrounding them. This way, the reaction to them will be less intense and can reduce the distress caused.

Addressing Root Causes of Trauma

EMDR can help to go beyond just reducing the symptoms of PTSD. It helps to address and work through the root cause of it. This can be done by identifying unhelpful beliefs and replacing them with healthier ones. It also helps to bring closure and understanding to the traumatic experience, which can help bring long-term healing. For example, it can help you see childhood trauma from an adult lens, reducing its effect on your life today.

Minimizing Risk of Relapse and Promoting Long-term Healing

Through EMDR, you’re not only looking to reduce the symptoms in the short term. The healing process is more about addressing and working through the root cause of trauma. This allows your mind and body to heal on a deeper, more physiological level. This way, the risk of relapse is much lower, and you are more likely to experience long-term healing.

Improving Emotional Regulation and Coping Skills

When it comes to PTSD, the condition can make it challenging to regulate your emotions as situations, sounds, and smells can trigger intense emotions. Through EMDR therapy, you can learn how to manage and control your emotions healthily. This is helpful for those who struggle with PTSD as it can help them avoid feeling overwhelmed or out of control when specific triggers occur. For example, if a particular sound brings up intense emotion, they can learn to control those feelings by using breathing techniques or mindfulness.

Enhancing Self-Awareness and Self-Esteem

Another way EMDR can help those with PTSD is through enhancing self-awareness and self-esteem. As we work through the root causes of our trauma, we can gain insight into our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves. This allows us to step back and see how we may negatively judge ourselves. Or how we can work to build our self-esteem. This way, we can recognize distorted thinking and start seeing ourselves in a more positive light.

EMDR is an excellent form of treatment for PTSD as it allows traumatic memories, emotions, and triggers to be desensitized. Through this process, the intensity of these feelings can be reduced. Then, any of the negative beliefs we hold about ourselves can be identified and replaced with more positive ones. This allows for long-term healing as the root cause of trauma is being addressed.

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BSV Staff

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