Basics of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy

Basics of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy

Understanding the Benefits of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy or EMDR is a unique type of psychotherapy that’s designed to reduce negative thoughts and feelings associated with difficult or traumatic events. Whereas most discussion-based therapies will focus on the trauma at the center of a patient’s issues, EMDR looks at the negative emotions and behavioral symptoms that follow the event. Here we take a look at how EMDR is used in addiction therapy treatment.


The Benefits of EMDR

EMDR was developed as a therapy for the patients with PTSD, anxiety and all types of phobias. It can also be used for patients with mental health conditions like schizophrenia, depression and sexual dysfunction. In many cases of addiction, individuals first turn to drugs and/or alcohol either as a way of self-medicating a mental illness of coping with the difficult feelings following a traumatic event.


At the start of EMDR treatment, patients are encouraged to discuss problems and symptoms, without necessarily revealing details of any trauma experienced. Instead, the therapist will want to focus on the way you feel and the thoughts and feelings you are experiencing. This provides patients with a way of deciding which beliefs are still relevant and which need to be replaced with more positive thoughts.


The final stage of EMDR is guiding the patient through desensitization. This involves the patient focusing on the painful or traumatic memory while following the therapist’s fingers as they move back and forth. The objective is to help people fully process negative feelings and discard those that are no longer relevant. From this point onwards in EMDR treatment, the therapist will get patients to a pint where they can think about the trauma without experiencing any of the usual negative thoughts and feelings.


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