Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy is an effective way for mental health care professionals to assist people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The directed eye movements used during this type of therapy can encourage the brain to change the way it stores traumatic memories. These are some of the reasons that EMDR therapy is effective for people with trauma and anxiety:
1. EMDR therapy can prevent the symptoms of trauma from worsening over time.
Many people believe that time heals all wounds. However, without proper treatment, the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder may not improve over time. In fact, people can become more stuck if they develop maladaptive coping mechanisms as a way of dealing with their trauma. EMDR therapy allows people to address their trauma with the help of a trained mental health care professional. EMDR therapists are trauma-aware and will be sensitive to their clients' unique needs throughout the therapeutic process.
2. EMDR therapy may promote faster healing.
There are many types of therapy available for the treatment of trauma and other mental illnesses. However, EMDR therapy may allow people to recover more quickly than other types of talk therapy. EMDR therapy is goal-oriented. It is designed to reduce the severity of a trauma patient's symptoms over the course of a predetermined number of sessions. Working toward a goal can produce better results than simply processing mental health conditions without a clear aim in mind.
3. EMDR therapy techniques do not require patients to discuss their memories in detail.
Some trauma survivors avoid seeking therapy due to feelings of shame and guilt. The idea of discussing their traumatic experiences with another person can be overwhelming. Fortunately, EMDR therapy largely occurs within the mind. EMDR therapists help patients to select upsetting memories to recall during treatment. However, these memories do not need to be spoken out loud. Simply recalling these instances while following the therapist's movements with their eyes can enable people to reprocess trauma without the need for verbal exposition.
4. Patience can feel strengthened after EMDR sessions.
Many forms of therapy can make people feel worse before they feel better. Discussing traumatic memories can sometimes retraumatize people, which is why it's important to undertake trauma therapy under the care of a professional. However, patients may find that they feel strengthened and empowered following their EMDR sessions. That's because EMDR allows the brain to reprocess old memories in new ways. These physical changes can allow patients to adopt new beliefs about themselves and their experiences. Patients may learn to see themselves as strong survivors, rather than as shameful victims.
For more information about EMDR therapy, contact a local therapy office.