Know this type of therapy thoroughly
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4. Benefits of EMDR Therapy
4.1. It’s fast and effective
EMDR differs from other therapies in that the patient shows signs of healing early. The entire treatment takes about 12 weeks, and many patients experience it noticeable improvements from the second or third week.
4.2. It’s not very invasive
EMDR therapy takes advantage of the brain’s own plasticity create new neural connections: Eye movements cause both hemispheres to be activated and consequently isolated neurons can connect to others. Without any external means, the therapist stimulates the patient’s own healing mechanisms.
4.3. Addresses the emotional part of the trauma
EMDR sessions help the patient’s brain process and process leave the traumatic event in the past. In this way, it no longer has continuity in the present or in the future, and the patient will be able to regain control of their own emotions.
4.4. improve patient lives
If the patient manages to overcome the trauma and bring their life back into balance, they will see how increases self-confidence. The limiting factors disappear and you can enjoy a more fulfilling life in all areas (social, emotional, work…).
5. Disadvantages of using EMDR
The main disadvantage of this therapy is that the patient a deep emotional stress memory of the traumatic event. Figuratively, the process is akin to “opening Pandora’s box” that lies in the depths of being.
The therapist must help the patient deal with all of the emotions that arise from recalling their traumatic memories. Otherwise, these negative feelings could linger after the session negatively affect other aspects of your daily life.
6. How does an EMDR session work?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions when we talk about EMDR. I’ll try to explain it as best as I can. In EMDR sessions, the therapist works closely with the patient to find the specific problem that the treatment will be about. The patient must describe the traumatic event and the therapist will help him to do so Identify the elements of the event that bother you the most.
During the session, the patient eye movements (or any other bilateral stimulation) while capturing your memories. They also tend to use other types of stimulation such as acoustics (Hear alternating tones in both ears) or kinesthetic (received small alternating slaps on the hands or shoulders). Through these stimulations, the patient experiences an improvement in information processing, as the connection between the two halves of the brain is facilitated.
The successor of stages Typical for an EMDR session would be:
- The therapist asks the patient to focus on the memory that causes them the most discomfort.
- The therapist elicits bilateral stimulation from the patient.
- The therapist asks the patient to express whatever comes to mind.
- The process is repeated until the negative sensation, emotion, or thought is gone.
“Changing the memories that lead us to see ourselves the way we do also changes the way we see others. Our relationships, our job performance, what we are willing to do or what we can resist are all moving in a positive direction.”
7. Steps of the EMDR method
7.1. plan design
In the initial phase is the medical history of the patientwho expresses his memories in order to process them therapeutically. The physical sensations associated with the memory are also recorded.
7.2. patient preparation
The therapist explains the content of the method to the patient and clarifies any doubts about the therapy. The point is that the patient and the therapist a initial trust relationship. The therapist also needs to know if the patient is taking medication or if they have any relevant medical conditions.
The evaluation phase consists of Identify the storage you want to process. Later, the patient must express an image evoked by the memory in order to begin work on it. The therapist will ask the patient to verbalize their negative emotions and feelings.
At this stage there is disturbing new emotions and that’s where the bilateral stimulations take place. Here we come to the source of the trauma, the worst parts of the patient’s memory. The therapist assesses the extent to which the memory disturbs the patient and exhausts any associations that bind him to the traumatic event.
7.5. positive cognition
The next stage is to build the patient’s confidence, that is, to make him Take control of what has blocked you. Therapist continues bilateral stimulation until the patient feels capable of handling the situation.
7.6. body scan
The next step is looking for that patient release residual physical tension resulting from the traumatic memory. The therapist tries to find pain or unpleasant sensations in the patient’s body: he needs to process them to eliminate tension. If physical tension persists, you can return to the desensitization phase.
The conclusion of the session is that the patient recovers a equilibrium state. The therapist will help the patient contain emotions, relax, and document their situations, memories, and thoughts.
It’s about connecting the current session to the previous one, so that the effectiveness of the therapy in previous sessions is assessed. The point is to go back to the residual disturbances and see if the results obtained hold.
I can’t end this post without reminding myself that methods like the one shown in this post can only be applied by mental health professionals have training in it.
8. Bibliographic References
- Davidson, PR, & Parker, KCH (2001). Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, 69(2), 305–316. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.69.2.305
- Rodenburg R, Benjamin A, de Roos C, Meijer A & Stams G (2009). Effectiveness of EMDR in Children: A Meta-Analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 29599-606.
- Shapiro, F. (2014). The Role of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy in Medicine: Treating the Psychological and Physical Symptoms Resulting from Negative Life Experiences. The Permanent Magazine, 18(1): 71-77. doi: 10.7812/TPP/13-098