There is a way out of emotional trauma. You can overcome post traumatic stress, and you can move past negative thoughts and memories.
Many people have found lasting relief and recovery from emotional stress through Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR).
EMDR is a psychotherapy that uses external stimuli such as lights or sounds to heal severe emotional stress caused by painful memories. The therapy heals the brain by allowing it to process painful thoughts and properly store traumatic memories.
What Is EMDR Therapy?
Our brains process our thoughts and store our memories each night as we sleep. It happens during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.
But when we encounter difficult or disturbing experiences, our brains are unable to store the information naturally. The painful memories remain in our minds, causing us constant emotional and mental stress.
Through EMDR, we help the brain process these difficult experiences by triggering rapid eye movement using stimuli to draw the eyes from side-to-side which stores the memories as it would naturally through REM sleep.
Think of your brain as a filing cabinet. When you go to sleep at night, during REM your brain files away the day's memories. But in the event of trauma, the memories are unable to be filed. They are left floating around in your brain, causing stress. Through EMDR, we file the loose papers to restore order in the brain.
What Does EMDR Therapy Treat?
EMDR therapy has proven to be very effective and useful for treating all degrees of trauma including:
- sexual abuse
- difficult divorces
- domestic abuse
- disturbing memories from traumatic incidents like car accidents
- PTSD in military members
One study found that 77% of combat veterans were free of PTSD after 12 EMDR sessions, and the therapy is now recognized as an effective form of treatment for trauma by organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organization, and the Department of Defense.