EMDR Therapy

In addition to hypnotherapy, I also utilize EMDR for trauma-related issues.

What is EMDR therapy?

EMDR therapy is powerful! It is a psycho-therapeutic treatment that provides meaningful results within weeks for some clients where other methods can take months or years to be effective.

In fact many studies confirm the effectiveness and success of this type of therapy within just a few therapy sessions. Millions of people worldwide have already successfully been treated by this method. There are only three evidence-based therapies for trauma: prolonged exposure therapy (PE), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). EMDR was found to help in fewer sessions and does not require homework between sessions, making it the fastest evidence-based therapy there is. It is the classic treatment for veterans suffering from PTSD and those suffering the effects of traumatic natural disasters such as hurricanes and other forms of devastation.

Francine Shapiro, PhD, an American psychologist, developed Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy as a breakthrough therapy with special capacity to overcome the often devastating effects of psychological trauma in the late 1980s.

Now 25 years later research has shown that this type of treatment is not only the most effective treatment for healing PTSD but has been shown helpful in treating other conditions such as: Personality disorders, panic attacks, performance anxiety, complicated grief, stress reduction, dissociative disorders, disturbing memories, addictions, phobias, pain disorders, sexual and/or physical. It is now used in the US and around.

How does EMDR therapy work?

EMDR therapy can work for some issues, such as a specific anxiety or phobia, in just one session. More often, it takes place over a series of sessions based upon an eight phase system which has been tried and tested. Initial sessions enable the therapist to gather information about a client, the problem and its origins. Next, the client is encouraged to visualize a peaceful place or loving adult and just experience being there or feeling loved by the real or imagined person. This is done with the purpose of enabling the client to tolerate the trauma reprocessing in the sessions with an increased degree of safety. The client may be asked to write a list of issues or traumas to be dealt with as part of the preparation phase of EMDR therapy.

The first EMDR session is based upon the issue or trauma that the therapist and client have discussed and agreed to start on. The client is introduced to the eye movements and has been taught a stop signal in case the client wants to stop at anytime. The preparation steps allow the client to become aware of the process and to feel comfortable before starting EMDR therapy. The EMDR process requires clients to focus on four main aspects of the trauma. 1.) a visual image which is the most disturbing part of the trauma, 2.) the negative thought that they have about themselves in relation to the trauma, 3.) the emotions associated with the memory and 4.) the location of the disturbance in their body.

What types of issues is EMDR therapy affective on?

EMDR therapy can help with: PTSD, Anxiety, Panic attacks, Fear & phobias, Stress, Grief and loss, Relationship issues, Childhood trauma, Physical abuse, Sexual abuse, Occupational stress, Combat stress, Auto accidents, Natural disaster, Violent crime, School trauma, Agoraphobia, Anger management, Social anxiety, Physical or chronic illness, Flashbacks, Nightmares, Birth trauma, Divorce recovery, Loss of self esteem, Procrastination, Perfectionism, Addictions, Compulsions/OCD, Creative blocks, Athletic performance, Goal setting and Life transitions. EMDR therapy has many applications but the most documented is trauma. Other areas which have found success with with EMDR are performance enhancement, panic attacks, anxiety, phobias, addictions, stress reduction, complicated grief, stage fright, public speaking, and pain in general. We may use a modified version of the standard EMDR therapy protocol to treat these issues.

Contact me by phone or email to schedule an individual session. I can help!

Lynda Hilburn, LPC, CAC II, CCHt

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