What is it?
EMDR is a brain based intervention often used in counseling. During the session, talking is somewhat limited. Instead, you’re holding tactile pulsers. They buzz alternating left and right. There’s something about activating left and right hemispheres of the brain alternately that helps the brain process difficult memories.
Who is it for?
EMDR is a wonderful option for those ready to process past trauma. With trauma, we often have an emotional activation from the memory even years after the event. EMDR helps break the emotional connection. We’ll always have the memory, but we won’t always feel triggered. EMDR can also be helpful for those with phobias, blocking beliefs (example: you believe you’re stupid or worthless because of past experiences, so you avoid trying something because you anticipate failure or rejection). If you feel like the past has too much power and you can recall the memories that hold the power, then EMDR could be a great option.
What can it treat?
EDMR is frequently used for the following difficulties:
What Does a Session Look Like?
An EMDR session is different than talk therapy. For many, it’s difficult to retell stories of trauma, but with EMDR, you only need the willingness to think about the memory. During the session, you’ll hold pulsators that buzz alternately. This activation is called bilateral stimulation. It activates the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which is what helps the brain process both the memory and the associated emotion. As the brain processes the past experience, it’s able to store it in a way that is manageable to the brain. As a result there’s no longer the emotional intensity that once came with the memory. You’ll never enjoy the memory, but it doesn’t have to disrupt your life or your functioning.