EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an evidence-based integrative psychotherapy model that can sometimes resolve severe and lifelong problems in a few sessions (3-6 average). This model was designed by Francine Shapiro in 1987 with an original intent to treat disorders and issues caused by different life traumas. However, since then, being one of the most researched therapies, results of more than 400 research studies also proved EMDR effective in treating various difficulties we may experience throughout our lifetime such as different types of phobias, fears, toxic and chronic stress, affective disorders of anxiety and depression, addictions, low self-esteem, as well as our interpersonal dynamic and relationship problems. Moreover, EMDR is successful in helping clients boost their self-confidence and enhance their performance in different personal and professional aspects such as sports arenas, public speaking or various testing activities.
EMDR will help you create a clear and more positive picture of yourself, your life and your reality, while maximizing your capacities and reaching your full potential. Your past disturbing memories, painful experiences and/or styles of upbringing do not need to govern your life in the present moment as through EMDR these will be replaced with a sense of relief, inner peace, unconditional self-acceptance, and contentment with your life.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) protocol includes stimulating your brain into "reprogramming" memories and thinking in a way that it becomes positive and constructive for you, while simultaneously stimulating brain by the use of eye movement and/or other sensory receptors to facilitate the process.
At the time of a traumatic or disturbing experience, our strong emotional (over)reaction interfere with our ability to completely process the experience and this one moment becomes “frozen in time.” This makes memories of these difficult life events very much raw and alive in our present moments as they became encoded and stored in our memory in the way that they cause a sort of short-circuit in our brain once they are activated by some association in the present time. When a specific incident comes to mind, we may feel as though we are reliving it all over again and that “the past is present" because the images, smells, sounds, and feelings are still there and may distort our thoughts, perceptions, and attitudes, interfering with the ways we see ourself, the world, and how we relate to others. As a result, there is a negative impact on our daily lives and our performance at school or work declines, our relationships and interactions with others become troublesome, and we feel powerless and discontented.
During EMDR processing, this process is activated through eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation (such as audio or tactile), stimulating brain and central nervous system to resolve and problem-solve distressing events and experiences that may have occurred years ago and were blocked by your natural defense mechanism (flight/fright/freeze). Thus, EMDR therapy helps brain to “unfreeze” the traumatic memories and to resolve them through adaptive processing. During EMDR process, over time the disturbing memory and associated beliefs, feelings, sensations become “digested” or worked through until you are able to think about the event without reliving it, becoming emotionally upset, or disrupted in your everyday life.
As a result, EMDR will help you create a new understanding of your own reality, free of emotional problems from the past so that your histories, memories, and past experiences do not govern, interrupt, and/or confuse your living in present moment and prevent you from reaching your maximum capacity. I will help you resolve these old memories, as together we will deconstruct existing negative core beliefs and help you release any anxiety, depression, and/or traumatic issues they caused. Instead, through EMDR and our work together, we will help you find a relief and center yourself in an internal sense of peace, ease and contentment with a positive view of yourself and others in your world.
There are few different phases in the EMDR protocol:
Phase 1 & 2
Since uncomfortable emotions and sensations may arise during our 2nd phase of EMDR processing, after our initial consultation, assessment and development of treatment plan goals, we start by practicing stabilizing/grounding stimulation; you will learn different affect-management skills and develop resources that you will be able to use before, during and after our sessions. Usually, these two phases take place in our two first sessions.
Phase 3 - 6
Phases three through six include EMDR (re)processing and can take one through multiple sessions, depending on the individual need of the clients. This is the portion of our work together during which we will focus on the image of identified disturbing events/memories and, with my guide and the use of bilateral stimulation, will reprocess their negatively associated cognitions while desensitizing, reprocessing and installing more adaptive, positive cognitions and core beliefs.
Phase 7 & 8
Re-evaluation and closure are ending parts of our work together during which we examine progress made toward our treatment plan goals by processing associations and potentially distressing past, current, and future events while observing your cognitive/emotional responses to them.
Please, do not hesitate to call me with any questions you may have about EMDR and how this process can help you become the best version of you.
You can download info about EMDR in PDF format HERE.
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