"It feels like witchcraft, or voodoo or something... why do I feel better?"
The quote above is what we hear a lot of our clients say about EMDR... The nice thing is that any clinician who practices EMDR has also gone through it, and guess what? We said the same thing! We're with you, it's odd... but it works.
What is EMDR?
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. As with most therapy approaches, it focuses on the individual’s present concerns. The EMDR approach believes past emotionally-charged experiences are overly influencing your present emotions, sensations, and thoughts about yourself. As an example: “Do you ever feel worthless although you know you are a worthwhile person?” EMDR processing helps you break through the emotional blocks that are keeping you from living an adaptive, emotionally healthy life.
How Does it Work?
EMDR uses rapid sets of eye movements to help you update disturbing experiences, much like what occurs when we sleep. During sleep, we alternate between regular sleep and REM (rapid eye movement). This sleep pattern helps you process things that are troubling you. EMDR replicates this sleep pattern by alternating between sets of eye movements and brief reports about what you are noticing. This alternating process helps you update your memories to a healthier present perspective.
FAQ's About EMDR
Is it necessary to tell my therapist all the details about my problems in order for them to be processed?
• No, it is not necessary to talk about all the details of your experiences for them to be processed.
Will I get emotional?
• Yes, you may. Emotions and sensations may come up during processing; although, you will be prepared and your therapist will help you safely manage them. Once they are processed, they rarely come back!
Is EMDR like hypnosis?
• No. During EMDR processing, you are present and fully in control.
Is EMDR a brief treatment?
• EMDR, as with all treatment approaches, will help you accomplish your treatment goals.
• The length of time that it takes is dependent upon the complexity of your problems.
• Frequently, EMDR is only one of several treatment approaches that will be used to help you reach your treatment goals.