What is different about EMDR?
EMDR focuses on the brain’s ability to constantly learn, taking past experiences, and updating them with present information. Adaptive learning is constantly updating memory network systems, but past emotionally-charged experiences often interfere with your updating process. EMDR breaks through that interference and helps let go of the past and update your experiences to a healthier present perspective.
EMDR uses a set of procedures to organize your negative and positive feelings, emotions, and thoughts, and then uses bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements or alternating tapping, as the way to help you effectively work through those disturbing memories.
The EMDR session:
- You will be asked a set of questions to access and activate the negative experience and the desired adaptive resolution.
- Sets of rapid eye movement (or other forms of bilateral stimulation) will be applied.
- You will be encouraged to just “free associate” and allow the brain to work through the experience.
- Sets of eye movements will be alternated with brief reports about what you are experiencing.
- EMDR processing will continue until the past experience has been updated to an adaptive present perspective.
- With long standing issues, this process may take multiple sessions.
Is it necessary to tell my therapist all the details about my problems in order for them to be processed?
No, it is not necessary to talk about all the details of your experiences for them to be processed.
Will I get emotional?
Yes, you may. Emotions and sensations may come up during processing; although, you will be prepared and your therapist will help you safely manage them. Once they are processed, they rarely come back!
Is EMDR like hypnosis?
No. During EMDR processing, you are present and fully in control.
Is EMDR a brief treatment?
EMDR, as with all treatment approaches, will help you accomplish your treatment goals. The length of time that it takes is dependent upon the complexity of your problems. Frequently, EMDR is only one of several treatment approaches that will be used to help you reach your treatment goals.