You may have heard of EMDR therapy somewhere online, in passing a conversation on the street, or from a friend. In recent years this form of psychotherapy has moved into the mainstream as an effective tool psychologists in Calgary and other trained providers have at their disposal for helping to heal past trauma.
There is more and more attention being paid to previous trauma and its impact on our everyday mood and emotions. Over the last few years, there have been scientific studies published that show a direct link between traumatic events and brain development in children. In adults, traumatic events can have a long term lasting impact on the ability to cope with everyday life.
Healing from previous trauma is a difficult process, but with EMDR therapy it’s possible to regain a sense of peace and control in your life.
What is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and it’s a powerful tool for helping you to heal from previous traumatic events. Numerous studies show a significant (between 77% – 100%) reduction in the stress caused by traumatic memories after undergoing EMDR therapy.
It’s this stress that can lead to significant emotional problems as well as conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression.
Rather than focusing on the negative feelings directly related to a traumatic event, EMDR emphasizes the troubling emotions and other symptoms that are a result of the event. Studies have shown that clients undergoing EMDR therapy report an improvement in their symptoms over the short term, with these effects lasting long term even once the treatment has ended.
EMDR therapy requires multiple visits with a trained practitioner as there are eight phases to a course of treatment. These include taking a detailed history of the traumatic event, planning for the treatment sessions, and undergoing the treatment itself.
Who Can Benefit from EMDR Therapy?
Anyone that has experienced a previous traumatic event or circumstance and is struggling with the symptoms of acute and post-traumatic stress disorder can find relief by attending EMDR therapy in Calgary.
These symptoms can include anxiety, panic attacks, flashbacks, nightmares, emotional numbness and avoidance of places and people associated with the event, along with difficulty sleeping and concentrating, and being easily angered or irritated.
Traumatic events can happen at any time to anyone and aren’t just limited to disasters, significant loss or frightening events. Long-lasting symptoms can also be caused by what is often called ‘small t’ trauma, like being repeatedly bullied as a young child or experiencing ongoing verbal abuse by a parent.
There is also research that shows that EMDR therapy can be used to treat anxiety, depression, eating disorders and other mood disturbances. Before planning to undergo EMDR treatment for a condition other than previous trauma, it’s best to speak with a trained provider to see if it’s the right approach for your specific needs.
How Does EMDR Therapy In Calgary Work?
EMDR therapy is a psychological intervention that utilizes bilateral stimulation of the right and left sides of your brain. While this may sound invasive, you can rest assured that it’s a simple process that has very few side effects.
Bilateral stimulation is done either by your therapist having you follow their finger or hand with your eyes or provide you with a small device to hold in each hand. The device will produce a small vibration or tap that alternates between the left and right-hand sides.
The treatment has been so effective in treating PTSD in returning war veterans that the United States Department of Veterans Affairs considers it one of their strongly recommended treatment options. It’s also endorsed by the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization.
It’s generally thought that EMDR therapy allows your brain to access the stored memories of a traumatic event and reprocess them with new associations that are more adaptive. What this means for you is that traumatic memories no longer have the same emotional impact as they once did. This allows your brain to heal itself and can result in your symptoms being reduced.By attending EMDR therapy in Calgary, it’s possible to rapidly heal from past trauma and move forward with your life. If you’ve been struggling with any of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or feelings of panic and anxiety related to an event, contact our office today to book an appointment with one of our trained therapists. Freedom from trauma is possible and we’re here to help you on your journey.