Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of therapy primarily used to treat trauma and certain mental health disorders. EMDR therapy programs aid people in changing thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that stem from a traumatic experience by resolving unprocessed trauma. Once trauma is processed, the brain can begin to heal and move past the trauma naturally. EMDR therapy does not try to erase or suppress negative memories and emotions. Instead, it brings them to the surface and provides an effective way to move past them and avoid becoming stuck in a psychological stress response.
What Does an EMDR Therapy Program Treat?
EMDR therapy can be implemented across all ages and is used to address numerous mental health challenges, including:
- Panic attacks and phobias
- Substance abuse and addiction
- Post-traumatic stress disorder and other trauma-related issues
- Depression and bipolar disorders
- Physical or sexual abuse
How does an EMDR therapy program work? It begins with an understanding that the brain naturally attempts to process trauma and pain. Doing so involves the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. Most of the time, the brain effectively processes and moves past a traumatic or painful experience. But in some cases, the brain gets stuck in a fight or flight response and is unable to move through the trauma. It’s a little like the brain becoming frozen in a past moment. EMDR therapy intervenes by supporting the brain in processing past trauma.
It is worth noting that when EMDR therapy refers to processing, it actually has nothing to do with talking something out the way people might in traditional therapy or psychoanalysis. Instead, it refers to facilitating proper brain function to mentally work through and store trauma. This way it no longer becomes a hang-up for someone’s present mental health.
What Is it Like to Experience EMDR Therapy?
Early EMDR sessions resemble traditional talk therapy. They focus on discussing a client’s needs and supporting a client in learning to manage stress better. Once this initial phase is complete, formal EMDR therapy can begin.
This involves sessions that range from sixty to ninety minutes. Each session directs the client to focus on a specific memory, event, or traumatic experience. As the client brings this upsetting thing to mind, a trained mental health provider begins directing eye movements or repetitive sounds. The therapist will ask the client to respond to these stimuli and to notice any emotional shifts related to the memory they brought to mind. The eye movements or sounds are repeated until the memory causes less of a negative response.
EMDR therapy programs aim to fully address traumatic experiences. For this reason, the protocol focuses on a past memory, the present distress it continues to cause, and the future action a client may take. Engaging a client in an EMDR therapy program means taking them through eight distinct phases of treatment: health history and planning, preparation, assessment, desensitization, installation, body scan, closure, and re-evaluation. This holistic approach ensures a specific trigger is fully dealt with.
Choose AssuraSource's EMDR Therapy Program in Dallas, Texas
AssuraSource operates an EMDR therapy program in Dallas, Texas. We offer both in-home and virtual behavioral therapy options for people in and around Dallas, Texas. Virtual therapy services target people who are medically or geographically isolated, coping with additional medical issues, or are homebound temporarily or permanently. Everyone deserves exceptional mental health care. Using technology, AssuraSource is able to meet people where they are and make sure they can access needed mental health care that they might not otherwise receive.
Learn more about our EMDR therapy program and how it can help you or a loved one recover from past trauma by calling 844.821.4163 or completing our online form.