What is EMDR?
EMDR can be thought of as a physiologically based therapy that helps a person see disturbing material in a new and neutralized way.
No one knows exactly how any form of psychotherapy works in the brain (neurobiologically) and creates lasting effects. However, we do know that when a person is very upset, their brain cannot process information as it does ordinarily, possibly due to the physical reactions of the body at the moment of distress. This moment becomes “stuck” or "frozen in time," and remembering a trauma may feel as bad as going through it the first time due to the images, sounds, smells and feelings that continue to feel active in the body. Such memories have a lasting negative effect that interfere with the way a person sees the world, the way they relate to other people, and function on a daily basis.
EMDR has a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information. Through EMDR the “stuck” information is processed to an adaptive (neutral) place in the brain and normal processing is resumed. Following a successful EMDR session, a person no longer relives the images, sounds and feelings when the event is brought to mind. You still remember what happened, but it is less upsetting or neutralized.
Many types of therapy have similar goals. However, EMDR replicates what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, hence why this type of therapy is termed Eye-Movement desensitization reprocessing therapy.
EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain’s information processing system wants to heal itself and will naturally move towards mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes.
This is done by means of standardized procedures that include the use of bilateral eye movements, taps or tones. In other words, your eyes would follow back and forth movements fo the therapists finger’s and/or you hold vibrating buzzers in each hand and/or you listen to intermittent sound tones through headphones if you feel more comfortable with your eyes closed.
Therapy is a creative process at New Earth Therapy. You and the therapist work together to see what works best for you.
“We don’t bring things up to relive them, we bring things up to release them.” -Judi Pasos