Thursday
Sep202012

EMDR Works! Why to use it in therapy - Part 1

Do you feel stuck?  Is therapy not working?  Are you weary of "talk therapy?"  Are you dreading talking about old pain over and over again?  There is a powerful way to move forward.  And it works well! EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a powerful therapy approach.  I have been certified in the approach and am dedicated to helping people use EMDR to enhance their therapy and efficiently move past their roadblocks.

What is so great about it?  Why am I passionate about it?  In the following articles, I will explore all of this.  I will give you 5 reasons why you will want to experience EMDR in therapy.  I hope you come away motivated to try EMDR.  In my experience, even those skeptical of the approach eventually come to find it really helpful.

What is EMDR?

You may or may not have heard about it before.  And you may also be thinking that it is another fad therapy or "miracle cure."  There is more to it than that.  EMDR has been around since about 1990, when Dr. Francince Shapiro discovered the mechanism for it one day.  At the time, she was a researcher at Stanford University and she took a walk (like we all do from time to time) with some troubles on her mind.  I have certainly been there before, as I am sure you have.  As she walked, she noticed (as we all do) that she felt better.  Her troubles seemed less worrisome.  As a researcher, she wondered why... so she did it again.  She thought about her upsetting difficulties, and went on a walk.  She noticed that as she thought about them, her eyes began moving back and forth.  She wondered if that movement was part of why she felt better.  So, like a good researcher, she created an experiment in which she had people she knew think about something upsetting and move their eyes back and forth.  They felt better, they realized!  As the story goes, she then began studying this phenomenon in various groups of people and was able to publish research on the subject.  Long story short, EMDR has grown beyond that moment into a powerful treatment approach helping millions of people a year.

But... what is it.  EMDR is a treatment approach that harnesses your own mind to heal itself.  As a clinician helps you focus on upsetting material and facilitates eye movements, your mind is able use it's already existing natural mechanism for processing troubles to heal itself.  More research and definition of the approach can be found here.

Reason 1:  EMDR is a research based approach.  No Miracle Cures!

One of the many reasons I like EMDR is that it is based on rigorous research.  I am very skeptical of fads and therapies that are cobbled together or repackaged from other treatment approaches.  I like to see evidence of effectiveness and I like to see consistent results before I use something on my clients.  I value their mental health and time too much to waste both on "miracle cures" or fads.  EMDR is neither.

Because EMDR was developed by a researcher, it has been heavily researched!  I mean, heavily researched.  Many controlled studies exist that demonstrate it's effectiveness, especially with trauma and diagnosed PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  I will not bore you with all the research, but will invite you to view as much as you can.  Click here to view some of that research.

As you will see in the research, EMDR has been designated as a treatment of choice for PTSD by a variety of organizations including the VA, APA and others.  As you move into other areas of difficulty, the research is still emerging.  Many publications have shown the effectiveness of EMDR with other difficulties, but PTSD is where it shines, in terms of research.

This is not a new "miracle cure" or fad.  It has been around for about 20 years and has been strongly researched.

Next... how does EMDR use the strengths you already have to help you heal?  This is when it gets good...

 

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