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What is EMDR?
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an advanced form of psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the thoughts, feelings, and body sensations that come from disturbing life experiences. Studies show that for many clients, EMDR can help reduce and eliminate symptoms much faster than standard talk therapy.
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Research in EMDR therapy shows that you can heal from psychological trauma the same way you heal from a physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. But if the block is removed, healing begins again.
The brain works the same way. If it's blocked or imbalanced by a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Using specific EMDR protocols, procedures, and equipment, therapists help clients unblock the memories of these events and activate their natural healing processes.
The Eight Phases of EMDR
1. History/treatment planning: We develop a treatment plan with special attention to painful memories.
2. Preparation: We use the procedure with a positive and happy memory to help you prepare for future sessions.
3. Assessment: We identify the first memory to desensitize, including images, beliefs, feelings and body sensations.
4. Desensitization: We use eye movements, taps, sounds, or vibrations to desensitize the memory.
5. Installation: We develop a positive belief about the memory. For example, "I am safe now."
6. Body scan: We identify and process any lingering physical discomfort related to the memory.
7. Closure: We use a calming exercise to end each session.
8. Reevaluation: Each session begins with an update on how you have been feeling since the last session.
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