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Emotional & Mental Wellness
How Does EMDR Therapy Work?
By Cody Mitts, MA, NCC

EMDR Therapy

EMDR therapy is a rapidly growing form of therapy in the field of counseling. This specialized type of treatment has some unique aspects that makes it different from the traditional type of talk therapy you might be used too.

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. If you’re wondering “what is emdr therapy?” you can check out this article.

As a counselor in Denver I often use EMDR to help people struggling with problems such as anxiety, PTSD, and anger. I regularly get asked by these people “how does EMDR therapy work?” Let’s take a look!

Eye Movement in EMDR Therapy

One of the most distinct parts of EMDR is the use of eye movement. The eye movements help your brain process information. This type of eye movement occurs naturally while you’re sleeping during what’ known as Rapid Eye Movement or your REM sleep cycle.

The eye movement seems to occur as your brain’s processing information. It’s a way for your right brain and your left brain to communicate.

By using eye movement techniques during EMDR therapy you’re able to speed up the ability to process the information that’s causing you problems.


EMDR Therapy Helps You Process Trauma

Perhaps the most common use of EMDR therapy is to help treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

To better understand EMDR it’s helpful to understand how trauma affects your body and mind.

A traumatic experience is anything that overwhelms your body, mind, or emotions. When these experiences happen your body and mind has a difficult time processing everything.

This is why people often describe feeling “stuck” after a negative experience. When you’re unable to process the information about these experiences you can start to have problems such as anxiety, flashbacks, feeling irritable, and other common symptoms of PTSD.

EMDR therapy helps you process the things that got stuck so that you can begin to feel some relief. When this processing occurs successfully you’re able to move forward in life.

Imagine a soldier that keeps reliving the terrible memories and feelings associated with war. Once they’re able to process these negative events the memories can exist in their mind without all of the uncomfortable emotions and feelings.

EMDR Therapy Is A Process

EMDR therapy is designed to help you speed up the ability to heal, but it’s not a one time fix.

There’s a process to EMDR treatment that your therapist will guide you through. Each part of the process is designed to keep you safe and ensure that you’re able to do the necessary work.

The early part of the process helps you develop some resources you may need to deal with the things keeping you stuck.

The next part of the process is designed to deal specifically with the memories and feelings that you can’t seem to overcome.

Once you’ve successfully dealt with these feelings and memories you can begin to build a new way of experiencing life. You no longer have to be held back by the things that left you feeling stuck.

Work With A Qualified EMDR Therapist

EMDR requires advanced training to be used safely and effectively. If you’re considering EMDR therapy be sure your therapist is trained and qualified.

Practice advocating for your own wellbeing. You can ask about their training, experience, and use of EMDR therapy.

If you’re looking for EMDR therapy in Denver you can learn more here.

Contact An EMDR Therapist

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