Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing

Leave Your Past Behind
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Heal from Distressing Life Events

Reframe Your Memories

Accelerate Healing and Recovery

Heal from Your Past

Are you ready to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress resulting from trauma or other distressing life experiences? Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) focuses on changing how your brain stores memories to help you heal. It helps you lessen and overcome the impact of trauma naturally and typically more quickly than other therapeutic approaches.

EMDR uses a client’s rapid, rhythmic eye movements to diminish the power of emotionally-charged recollections of past events. While it may seem like an unusual treatment, EMDR is scientifically proven as an effective treatment for healing all types of trauma and adverse emotions.

How EMDR Works

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing treatment sessions typically last an hour to 90 minutes. During the session, the therapist will move their fingers from one side of your face to the other and ask you to follow their fingers with only your eyes. Simultaneously, your therapist will ask you to recall a traumatic event, including body sensations and emotions that go along with the event.

Gradually, the therapist will guide you into shifting your thoughts from those traumatic memories to far more pleasant ones. 

Depending on the therapist, they may use toe-tapping, musical tones, or lights for your eyes to track instead of their fingers.

Prior to and following each treatment, your therapist will ask you to rate (often from one to 10) your current level of distress. Ideally, the goal is that your disturbing memories become less distressing.

While the majority of EMDR research has examined its use on people with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), mental health professionals also use the treatment for other disorders, including addiction.

How Effective is EMDR?

Since Psychologist Francine Shapiro developed it in 1989, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing has become widely used for treating trauma. Depending on the study, EMDR has anywhere from 77% to 90% effectiveness in treating trauma in as little as three sessions. Since trauma often is the root cause of addiction, EMDR is a common treatment for people in addiction recovery.
There are no known side effects of EMDR. It can quickly lead to significantly reduced symptoms, including anxiety, intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and avoidance.

How Else is EMDR Different from Other Therapies?

The process of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing treatment is clearly different from traditional talk therapy since it relies on eye movement to resolve distressing memories.

EMDR also focuses on specific memories instead of general symptoms, which makes it a targeted mental health treatment meant to heal one specific instance or circumstance at a time. 

In EMDR, the relationship between the client and therapist must be one of trust. Because EMDR seems so untraditional, the therapist must be trained in this form of healing, and the client must trust the therapist to lead them to positive outcomes. Clients must come to each EMDR session ready to focus on and tackle a specific issue from their past that is challenging their present.

Who Benefits from EMDR?

EMDR is most effective for trauma survivors who are impacted now by things that happened to them in the past. It’s also helpful for people with extreme anxieties or phobias. EMDR also is known to help cure somatic symptoms or physical symptoms without a medical explanation.

EMDR can be effective for treating:

  • Drug or alcohol addiction
  • Anxiety 
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Trauma disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Phobias
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Dissociative disorders 
  • Chronic pain
  • Appearance and body-related disorders

Therapists use EMDR to treat various mental health disorders, including some not listed above. After learning your concerns, the mental health professionals at Shadow Mountain Recovery will work with you to determine if EMDR is right for you. If so, your therapist will combine it with other therapies as part of your treatment plan.

Start EMDR at Shadow Mountain Recovery

If you think Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing might be the right treatment for you or your loved one, contact Shadow Mountain Recovery. We know this treatment seems a little outside the norm, so we’re happy to answer any questions and address any concerns you may have. We take most major insurance to reduce any financial concerns associated with recovery. Call us today to start your healing journey and leave your past behind.