You’ve tried talk therapy, but it didn’t seem to scratch the surface. You made a little progress, but at some point, you became stuck and stopped seeing changes and now you aren’t sure what else to do.
Either someone has recommended EMDR to you or you are looking for something else to try and EMDR came up in the search results. Either way, research hasn’t done a great job explaining it and you are trying to figure out if you are interested.
EMDR stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing… which is a mouthful if you ask me.
What is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)?
How I describe it is to picture your brain as a file cabinet and all your memories are the papers in the files. When trauma or something disturbing happens, the paper gets crumbled into a ball or folded awkwardly. Our brain tries to close the door, but because the papers are askew, the drawer can’t close. This is where we experience symptoms such as anxiety, depression, flashbacks, or nightmares.
How does EMDR treatment work?
During REM sleep is when our brain processes memories and the events of our day. Many memories are filed away and the drawer closes with no problem. But the memories that get stuck are the ones that cause distress. With EMDR, we are activating the part of the brain that is active during REM sleep in order to specifically target the memories we need to. In other words, we are opening the files that are jamming the door and smoothing them out so the door can finally shut.
If you have memories that you cannot stop thinking about no matter what you do or if past experiences are interfering with your current life or relationships, EMDR may be worth a try. EMDR has been shown to work with trauma, PTSD, depression, anxiety, and phobias.
So, how do you do EMDR?
I have a light bar and buzzers that both stimulate the part of the brain that is active during REM sleep. I have some pictures below so you can see what the equipment looks like. It can be intimidating to see it because this isn’t what you expect when you think of counseling. EMDR is weird, but the results I see are incredible.
How EMDR can help depression, anxiety, PTSD & more:
- It allows you to process memories that play on a loop in your brain.
- Learn ways to relax your body and stay present.
- Tackle those beliefs of “I’m not good enough” or whatever else your brain tells you.
- Give your brain space to heal itself so you can move forward and find freedom.