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Can EMDR Help Me?

Thanks to ongoing education, information, and research regarding mental health, effective treatments continue to develop and make their way into mainstream therapy practices. One method that is being used more frequently is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), an alternative to talk therapy that can yield positive results when other therapies don’t work out.

What is EMDR and how does it work?

During sleep, we alternate between regular sleep and rapid eye movement (REM). This sleep pattern helps us process things that are troubling and helps update our brain’s ability to adapt to stressful or traumatizing situations that are rooted in the past. EMDR replicates this sleep pattern by alternating between sets of eye movements, and brief reports about what we are noticing. This alternating process helps us update our memories to a present, healthier perspective and can be helpful in changing thoughts and feelings associated with past events and/or traumas.

What are the benefits of EMDR?

For many people, EMDR can create new brain associations that have previously been “stuck” like feelings of worthlessness or not being enough. Typically, trauma memories are not stored in a cognitive part of the brain where they can be easily accessed and processed. So, some people find that EMDR can be more beneficial than talk therapy since talking about a trauma isn’t always helpful in changing the strongly held thoughts and feelings that can lead to trauma.

Who uses EMDR?

EMDR can be useful for people of all ages and with varied experiences. For example, some veterans have had success with EMDR therapy when processing their post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you are interested in EMDR therapy, you should discuss it with your therapist or mental health provider. Usually, EMDR is recommended after other therapies have been rendered ineffective and is most successful for individuals who are in a stable environment where there is a lower risk of setbacks as they go through treatment.

If you or someone you know is having trouble working through past trauma, Centerstone can help. Call us at 877-HOPE123 (1-877-467-3123) or visit our counseling services page.

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