Today we’re talking, drumroll please, about EMDR Therapy. What is it and why do we use it? *Intro Music* So, what is EMDR? Well, EMDR stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. I know that that’s a mouthful, but it honestly is very descriptive as to what EMDR is, And we’ll get into it, and I’ll explain exactly how it works to the best of my ability. But I want you all to know that I’ve done a significant amount of research on this. I’ve actually spent time with three different clinicians who do EMDR. I am not trained in EMDR, and I do not practice it myself, But I have found it to be very helpful for many of my clients struggling with processing through a trauma. Now the basics of EMDR are that it is short term. There is no set number of sessions that you need to have, but they say that it’s not like a year long process. It all depends on your level of traumatization, how able you are to stay present, because dissociation is very common, If you want more on dissociation click over here. I’ve done a video on that. But if dissociation is very common for you, it may take you a little longer, because the whole point of EMDR is for you to be able to stay present in your body while they work on desensitizing and reprocessing the traumas. An interesting part of EMDR, and many of the clinicians that I talked with spoke about this. Is how important REM sleep is in our brain’s ability to process through our day. That’s actually why sleep is so important. I know I’ve talked about that before in the video where I got a new mattress, I talked about the importance of sleep and what that does for us. But REM sleep, if you aren’t aware is Rapid Eye Movement. So it means that our eyes are (whirring sounds) and by them going left to right our brain is actually processing through what’s happened that day. And that they think explains why dreams are so random, because there are certain things that happen that weren’t important in our day and other things that were. And things that maybe happened that we haven’t had time to process. So maybe when we have that one long night of sleep, we’re able to go through more than normal. There are a lot of factors in it. But they talk about how REM sleep is the reason the EMDR works. Because REM while our eyes are moving back and forth, and that’s involuntary, our brain is processing our day. EMDR is creating that in session, in order for you to go back to those traumatizing experiences, and let your brain take the time to actually process through it. Now there are many ways that they can do what they call bilateral stimulation. Meaning like left to right, so that we are in essence simulating the left to right eye movement that we have during REM sleep. Some of the people that I talked with always have people follow their hand or fingers. And they will do this during session. Others have what we call tappers, which are little they’re connected with a cord and they buzz. Buzz left to right. There are also headphones we can put in, which make sounds. Either beeps or little bings in left to right ears. Anything to stimulate the left to right sensation. Other people sometimes do like tapping on their arms. There are a lot of different ways that we can get that bilateral stimulation that is key to EMDR working Much of the research about EMDR proves it to be just as effective as CBT in the treatment of traumas. But there is a lot of chatter in the psychological community about this. Some people completely disagree with it, saying that it doesn’t do anything. Others saying it’s like magic. It helps patients so much. I would just encourage you to talk with your clinician, if it’s something that you’re interested in trying, try it. I have a friend, Paul Gilmartin, who’s been on my videos who’s done EMDR, and he said that it was key to his recovery. It wasn’t this huge part of his treatment, but it was a short-term treatment that he did in addition to his regular talk therapy that really helped him process through what he had been through as a child. And so I also have many clients do really really well with it. And I just, I like it. I’m on board with it. I know other clinicians may disagree, and that is fine. But if it’s something you’re considering, I hope that this video at least gives you can idea of what to expect, so that you are able to get the treatment that you need and deserve as you work through your traumas. Now to get into EMDR a little bit more, I’m going to talk about the 8 phases. And the clinicians that I spoke with say that sometimes you go straight through them exactly as the phases go. Sometimes you have to go back. Some phases take longer than others. And so I’m just going to briefly tell you what they are. And I will link in the description more information on this, if you want to read about each of the phases. But just know that it’s really your clinicians discretion as they’re working with you. And how long they take in each of these, and may be going back and forth between them as needed for you and your process. So the first phase is history and treatment planning. That’s like what are we going to do. Where have you come from? What are you working on? The second is preparation. Letting you prepare for the actual EMDR. Helping you calm yourself down and be present, stay in your body. Three is assessment. Four is desensitization. Five is installation. Six is body scan. Seven is closure. And eight is re-evaluation. Now I didn’t want to go into too much detail. I’ll tell you overall what my experience has been talking with people and seeing it done with clients. EMDR helps you internalize, and I think the word they use, installation, positive cognitions around a negative trauma. So let’s say we had, we were physically abused as a child. They will take you back to that time and have you maybe alter the image or the scenario that plays out. Maybe the flashback. Have you try to slow it down, speed it up. Make it black and white. They’ll have you try to change it, and they’ll have you try to bring in some positive cognitions. Maybe it’s your best friend. Maybe it’s your dog. Maybe it’s your husband. Maybe it’s you know a joke, a person who always tells great jokes and makes you laugh. You bring in certain things to the room within that flashback, so that you’re in control And you have support in that scenario. Like changing that scenario for yourself. And that’s a huge part of EMDR, is being able to bring resources into the trauma. And knowing that you’re in control of it and helping you process through it. And not feel so helpless, because often what we find happens in PTSD and C-PTSD symptomology is that we feel helpless and instead of fight-or-flight, we froze. And so part of the treatment of EMDR is letting us know that we have control. We have the ability to bring people in. We have the ability to leave, maybe. And they’ll have you work out different scenarios that feel right for you, so that you feel more in control of that scenario. It doesn’t feel like it keeps happening over and over, which is kind of what flashbacks do. They can re traumatize us, so they try to help you get control of that, and process through it. So in conclusion I just hope that if EMDR is something that your therapist is talking to you about, that you consider it. It doesn’t mean that it is going to cure everything. It doesn’t mean that in three sessions, poof, you’ll feel better and nothing will ever bother you again. But I do think that EMDR is a resource. It’s something that I’ve seen help many of my clients. It’s something that many of you have reported has helped you, and so I would encourage you to look into it. To talk more in depth. To maybe make an appointment with an EMDR specialist and check it out. If you go, and you don’t like it or it makes you feel uncomfortable, that doesn’t mean you have to continue. Just like finding a regular therapist, it’s important that you feel comfortable with your EMDR therapist. It’s even, honestly, I would say is even more important, because essentially they’re going to take you back to those really really nasty tricky traumatizing times. And they’re going to help you reprocess it and be able to stay present and calm yourself. And so you need to feel calm and relaxed in their office. And you need to really have a good feeling about them and feel like you can trust them with this process. I hope you found this helpful. Please leave your thoughts and experiences on EMDR in the comments. It’s so helpful that we get to share that. And please share the video. We never know who is contemplating this, who’s struggling. You never know who it’s gonna help. And if you’re new to my channel and you haven’t subscribed, why is that? Click over here to subscribe. I put out videos all the time, and you don’t want to miss them. And I’ll see you next time.