What is EMDR?
EMDR Therapy is a research-based therapy technique that helps individuals heal from disturbing or traumatic life events. These disturbances or "traumas" can be anything from losing a loved one, to going through a divorce, to an accident, or even chronic illness. EMDR treats any issue that has left or is currently leaving a negative impact on your current day-to-day life.
How does it work?
EMDR Therapy is designed to help a person identify and process these memories or feelings so that the symptoms can decrease and one can start living without their negative impact. The main component of EMDR is using bilateral stimulation (BLS) to “light up” the brain. To accomplish this we use tactile buzzers or audible sounds in each ear through headphones. The buzzing or the sounds activate the left and then right sides of the brain, re-creating the time of night when you dream. The act of "lighting up" the brain allows each person to process memories and emotions in the same way as the brain naturally would when you are asleep. Focusing on the memory or incident in the counseling session with EMDR allows you to properly process the memories and can allow you to work through the negative impact that this memory has or is having on your life.
EMDR does not erase memory or make the past disappear; it will allow one to remember the story without all the emotional charge that was distressing before. The goal of EMDR is for the brain to find a healthy resolution to a seemingly unsolvable painful experience.
Who is an EMDR candidate?
EMDR is available for both adults and children. It is important that an individual meets with his or her therapist to identify the readiness for this type of treatment.
How long does it take?
Again, due to the uniqueness of each individual, a time frame cannot be put on this process. It is suggested that a session for EMDR be weekly at 90-minutes; however, weekly sessions at 50-minute intervals are sufficient.