WHAT IS EMDR THERAPY?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. EMDR was initially developed in the late 1980s by psychologist Francine Shapiro to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It has evolved and has proved itself to be a very powerful tool to treat trauma whether it be a single incident devastatingly traumatic event or smaller series of negative events that helped shape how you see yourself and the world around you. EMDR therapy does not require talking in detail about the distressing event(s) or require the completion of homework assignments between sessions. EMDR therapy, rather than focusing on changing the emotions, thoughts, or behaviors resulting from the distressing issue, believes that your brain has all the answers and information it needs to heal itself through its natural healing process.
EMDR therapy is designed to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories in the brain. For many clients, EMDR therapy can be completed in fewer sessions than other modalities of psychotherapy.

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WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM EMDR THERAPY?

EMDR therapy is most beneficial to people who have experienced trauma or have a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Some therapists will recommend EMDR therapy for people who suffer from:

  • Anxiety
  • Panic Attacks
  • Depression
  • Certain Types of Phobias
  • Other Mental Health Disorders

One of the most significant benefits of EMDR is that it helps people whose symptoms are triggered by negative feelings. EMDR therapy is an effective and safe therapeutic treatment for children and adults.

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WHAT IS INVOLVED IN EMDR THERAPY?

EMDR Therapy can be effective in 8-12 sessions, however, that number can vary based on the severity and number of traumas a person has experienced. Like other forms of therapy, each person treated has different factors that are addressed which may alter the number of sessions needed. EMDR has 8 phases which your therapist will discuss more with you. The phases are:

  • History

  • Preparation

  • Assessment

  • Desensitization

  • Installation

  • Body Scan

  • Closure

  • Re-evaluation

Each phase is important and necessary for successful EMDR treatment.

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WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN AN EMDR THERAPIST?

EMDR Therapy is a specialized form of therapy and requires in depth training and certification for the treating therapist. Your EMDR Therapist should have EMDRIA certfication and experience using this technique.

The team at Illinois Healing Center for Trauma and Addiction are certified and have expertise in this form of therapy.

When searching for an EMDR Therapist, or any therapist for that matter, trust is an important factor. It is important that the therapist/patient relationship is built on honesty and openness. Difficult discussions and feelings will be brought up, and there must a be strong level of comfort between the two parties.

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