What is EMDR Therapy? Mental Health w Kati Morton



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EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing. It is a type of therapy that is short-term, and used to treat various types of traumas. The reason that they say EMDR works is because it mimics REM sleep by causing bilateral stimulation. You know how your eyes move side to side while you sleep, well EMDR forces that same experience in our brains through either eye movement, buzzers in hands, headphones with beeps, or even with tapping. The only thing they each need to do is go from left to right. This mimics that way our brain already processes things, and by going back to the trauma and using these types of stimulation, we are able to process through it much more quickly with a lower rate of flashback/trauma relapse. There are 8 phases to EMDR and because I don’t specialize in this myself, I would encourage you to find someone who does and hear more about these stages. They are: history & treatment planning, preparation, assessment, desensitization, installation, body scan, closure, and re-evaluation. In short, they help you find some resources in your life (positive people, animals, thoughts) and work with you to use them when you go back into the traumatic time. They stop periodically to ensure you are able to stay present, then go back in again. All the while, you are using whichever bilateral stimulation you preferred. Once you are able to go into the traumatic event without it being charged, you close. Then you can go back one more time to re-evaluate and make sure you have fully processed the trauma. The number of sessions varies depending on the type of trauma and how impacted you were by it, so talk to your therapist more about that if you are concerned with length. I hope this was helpful! Please share! xox

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