October 1, 2023

Simply as overeating can overwhelm our digestive programs and trigger us to develop signs of indigestion, traumatic experiences can get “caught” in our nervous system, resulting in ongoing misery and unfavorable feelings and beliefs. Eye motion desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) remedy helps people heal from the experiences that hang-out them fairly than merely be taught to deal with them.

EMDR could be particularly useful for adults with ADHD or comorbid situations, similar to anxiousness, despair, or post-traumatic stress dysfunction (PTSD), as a result of it targets underlying traumatic experiences (i.e., childhood abuse, disgrace, neglect, bullying, and so on.) that will contribute to signs. The evidence-based remedy works by partaking a number of neurophysiological processes, which is a flowery method of claiming that EMDR depends on the nervous system’s pure therapeutic skills to reprocess a distressing reminiscence or expertise, finally lowering or eliminating debilitating signs.1

The important thing element of EMDR is bilateral stimulation (BLS) — the remedy doesn’t work with out it. BLS stimulates either side of the mind by means of eye actions, tapping, or listening to alternating tones. It stimulates comparable processes skilled throughout the speedy eye motion (REM) sleep section, a vital a part of reminiscence consolidation. BLS “taxes” or “breaks” a focused reminiscence, making it laborious for a shopper to give attention to it inflicting the reminiscence to lose its unfavorable emotional cost. A shopper can nonetheless recall a unfavorable reminiscence simply with out the unfavorable emotions.

How Does EMDR Work?

A false impression about EMDR is that it’s a magic bullet and can work seamlessly for everybody. That’s not true. The remedy takes time and preparation to work successfully. The shopper and therapist give attention to constructing coping abilities and a secure therapeutic relationship earlier than figuring out recollections to focus on and deal with utilizing EMDR strategies.

In whole, EMDR remedy consists of eight phases, together with: 2,3

EMDR Part 1: Shopper Historical past

The therapist takes an in depth shopper historical past to determine their readiness and suitability for therapy.

EMDR Part 2: Preparation

The therapist units affordable expectations and trains the shopper on numerous self-control strategies to take care of stability between and throughout the classes.

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EMDR Part 3: Evaluation

The shopper and therapist collectively determine the goal reminiscence on which they are going to work.

EMDR Part 4: Desensitization

The shopper makes use of BLS to vary the focused reminiscence’s trauma-related sensory experiences and associations.

EMDR Part 5: Set up

The shopper identifies the brand new optimistic statements and associations they maintain concerning the expertise, now that it’s resolved.

EMDR Part 6: Physique Scan

The shopper scans their physique for any somatic response associated to the focused reminiscence. If current, the therapist targets this physique sensation for additional processing.

EMDR Part 7: Closure

The therapist explains what to anticipate between classes and asks the shopper to document any disturbances skilled between classes. The therapist additionally takes time to assist relieve any misery from the session so the shopper feels regulated upon leaving the session.

EMDR Part 8: Reassessment

The therapist evaluates the EMDR therapy’s effectiveness.

A typical EMDR session lasts one hour; nevertheless, some therapists provide intensive classes for 90 minutes or a number of hours. It could take a number of classes to course of a focused reminiscence. Purchasers who’ve skilled advanced trauma might have a number of months of EMDR remedy; purchasers who have already got coping abilities and aren’t afraid to really feel feelings and physique sensations could quickly transfer by means of EMDR therapy in a number of weeks. It will depend on the shopper’s targets, the power of their nervous system, and what number of recollections should be processed.

After a profitable EMDR session, my purchasers sometimes expertise decreased misery and vividness related to the unfavorable reminiscence and report {that a} beforehand tough expertise “now not bothers them.” Additionally they report decreased signs related to the reminiscence and extra peace and pleasure of their lives.

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EMDR for Kids

EMDR remedy shouldn’t be solely acceptable for adults. It’s a child-friendly and developmentally acceptable remedy for youngsters and adolescents. Therapists can tailor EMDR therapy to fulfill the wants of every little one by utilizing enjoyable and interesting strategies, similar to storytelling, drawing, and play remedy, to assist kids really feel secure and comfy whereas processing their traumas.

Extra importantly, EMDR remedy can assist kids with ADHD and comorbid situations develop coping abilities and methods to handle their signs extra successfully. For instance, it could train them leisure strategies to cut back anxiousness, enhance their means to focus and full duties, and assist them develop wholesome communication and relationship abilities.

You will need to observe that EMDR could be an amazing and susceptible remedy; therapy ought to solely happen with a educated EMDR skilled — and solely after each the skilled and shopper are prepared for it.

By serving to people course of and launch unfavorable feelings related to traumatic experiences, EMDR remedy can alleviate anxiousness, despair, and PTSD signs and even scale back some signs related to ADHD. Whereas EMDR won’t alleviate an ADHD prognosis, it could assist those that battle with ADHD signs reside a happier, extra productive life. EMDR helps purchasers to develop a extra optimistic self-image, self-confidence, and reside a greater high quality of life.

To discover a licensed EMDR skilled, go to emdria.org.

EMDR Remedy: Subsequent Steps

Rebecca Kase, MSW, LCSW, RYT, a member of emdria.org, and an emdria-approved coach and marketing consultant.

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