Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR—Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing—uses eye movements or other types of bilateral stimulation, such as light bars and pulsars, to help clients to process distressing memories and beliefs. EMDR was created as a treatment for trauma, and it works well to address post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, EMDR can also be used to address any past or current life experiences or beliefs that are creating problems, even if these experiences do not feel traumatic.
According to the EMDR International Association, EMDR can be used to address the following conditions:
- Physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and emotional abuse
- Distressing memories (combat experiences, accidents, physical or sexual assault, etc.)
- Complicated grief
- Substance use
- Phobias (fear of flying, etc.)
- Panic attacks
- Pain disorders
- Performance anxiety
- Stress reduction
- Personality disorders
Benefits of EMDR
EMDR can offer a host of benefits, including these:
Less intense psychological and physical reactions to difficult experiences: Negative past experiences are desensitized through EMDR, so they cease to negatively impact the client. For example, a client who had once been unable to think of their car accident without experiencing intense fear and muscle pain could recall the accident and have little or no psychological reaction or pain.
Increased self-worth: EMDR reprocesses negative beliefs about the self and replaces them with positive beliefs. Some examples of negative beliefs: I should have done something. I’ll never be good enough. I’m worthless. Examples of positive beliefs: I did what I could. I’m good enough. I’m valuable.
Improved mood: A common result of desensitizing negative experiences and implementing positive beliefs is improved mood. EMDR can decrease distressing emotions such as anxiety, depression, and anger—and make way for feelings of calmness, contentment, and joy.
Symmetry Counseling’s EMDR Providers
Are you interested in participating in EMDR? Symmetry Counseling’s Amanda Gregory, Maggie Reynolds, and Wynn Coughlin provide EMDR interventions. Contact us here or call our office at (312) 578-9990 and make sure to mention that you are interested in EMDR services.