Often our lives are tainted with traumatic experiences. These experiences could be in the form of a car accident that we merely survived the unexpected death of a close family member, rape, etc. These events can have long-term impacts on our emotional and mental health, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), developing irrational fears, etc.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing or EMDR therapy is a fairly new and effective tool for psychotherapy. It is known to cause significant positive effects on patients facing psychological distress. PTSD often makes the patient suffer through triggers that can cause them to recall those distressing events. For example, a rape victim might get severely triggered after listening to a similar incident on the news.
EMDR therapy is recognized to help stop such triggers and let the sufferers live a normal life. The EMDR therapy works in eight different phases which are:
- History and Planning the Treatment
- Body Scan
Your therapist might conduct the steps and how he seems fit. He would draw out a treatment plan and work through the steps accordingly.
According to a study conducted in 2012, EMDR was found to be helpful in effectively curing 77% of the twenty-two people suffering from a psychotic disorder and PTSD. Moreover, a multitude of other studies and research goes on to prove that EMDR is an effective PTSD cure. The Department of Veterans Affairs’ also endorses the use of EMDR therapy to tackle PTSD.
Now that we have had a run through how effective EMDR therapy is as a cure let’s look into some of its benefits in a little detail.
Counter Negative Beliefs
Our upbringing conditions us all. The beliefs we were taught, the principles we inherited through our experiences, and certain self-limiting opinions that we adopted while growing up. These beliefs can hinder us from reaching our full potential. They restrict us from achieving the best of our personalities.
Occasionally, certain negative thoughts overpower us in such a way that they turn into massive fear and anxiety. These can become an obstacle to accomplishing our dreams and goals. If left unattended, these fears can make a permanent home in our subconscious mind.
Through EMDR therapy, your psychologist can help you counter these self-limiting beliefs. By clearing your subconscious mind of all the negative thoughts and strengthening newer positive beliefs and principles, EMDR can help you become a better version of you.
Getting Over Past-Life Trauma
EMDR therapy has proven to have some very substantial benefits when it comes to curing post-traumatic stress disorder. Experiencing some traumatic events may leave colossal impacts on our minds. These can cause our brains to develop triggers that can lead to depression, anxiety, and severe panic attacks. When someone with PTSD faces a trigger, they may show severe signs of emotional, mental, and even physical distress. Depending on the severity of the trauma, the triggers can cause extreme reactions. People with PTSD may also occasionally show suicidal tendencies due to the excessive depression triggers may cause. Hence, tackling PTSD and its consequences is very crucial.
Numerous research and studies have shown EMDR therapy to significantly assist in getting patients to move over their past-life traumas. As stated by the EMDR Institute, Inc., a few studies conclude that 85%-90% of victims with a single past event of trauma no longer show signs of PTSD. These patients show signs of huge improvements only after three 90-minute sessions of EMDR therapy.
Pairing EMDR with other forms of psychotherapies might also work for some patients. Just because a victim is going through EMDR therapy doesn’t mean they can’t go through other behavioral therapies. EMDR can be paired with other therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Rational Emotional Behavioral Therapy (REBT) to avail amazing results for the victims.
EMDR therapy is also known to assist in curing drug addictions. It is known to be used in rehabilitation centers to help patients overcome various substance dependence.
According to several organizations that deal with rehabilitating addicts, people that are victims of a past traumatic incident have higher chances of developing any substance use disorder.
According to the American Psychiatric Association:
- Being diagnose with any mental disorder puts an individual at an increased risk of developing a substance addiction.
- Being diagnose with any substance addiction puts an individual at an increased risk of developing any other mental disorder.
- Addicted to the use of a substance puts an individual at an increased risk of developing PTSD or any other trauma-related disorder.
Hence, EMDR therapy can be use to provide a cure for individuals with a substance use disorder by dealing with the underlying trigger or cause.
EMDR Is More Time Efficient
EMDR therapy is known to provide fast-paced results, though the time taken by EMDR to provide healing depends on the intensity of the past trauma. The depth of the wound the past incident has on the victim’s mind will determine the length of the treatment. Regardless, EMDR therapy is identify to deliver better results in less time as compared to other psychotherapy procedures.
Helps in Coping with Anxiety and Panic Attacks
If you are someone who has gone through an episode of a panic attack before, you’d know how disabling it can be. Any defined triggers can cause such episodes. A panic attack has emotional as well as physical effects on an individual, such as tremors, feelings of suffocation, etc.
The process of EMDR will assist the therapist in identifying those triggers, eliminating them, and reinforcing better, more positive beliefs inside your mind. The process will help you fight over the triggers and come to terms with them. EMDR therapy can help you eradicate irrational fears that tend to hinder you from reaching your full potential.
The human mind is an essential part of the body. It has a major function, and if it disrupts, the entire body suffers. Hence, in case of any symptoms of mental illnesses, prompt care is necessary. With the help of EMDR and other therapies, you can ensure a healthy, functioning brain.