Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a highly effective treatment option for people who have experienced traumatic event(s) and are struggling to heal from these events. A traumatic event could be childhood abuse, sexual abuse, relationship abuse, a car accident, incidents while deployed in the military, the loss of a loved one, or anything that causes you to fear for your life or the life of a loved one. These events can sometimes become lodged in your mind and become difficult to move away from. They can cause really distressing symptoms, like nightmares, feeling like you are right back in the trauma, fear of going back into the world, being triggered by things that wouldn’t bother you before, etc. These symptoms can make your world feel small and like life will never be the same.
EMDR might be the right treatment for you if you relate to these experiences and symptoms.
Through EMDR, an experienced therapist will work with you through several stages of treatment. Throughout these stages, you will learn how to associate these incredibly difficult memories with different circumstances and more adaptive perspectives.
You and your therapist will work together to identify memories or situations to target with the EMDR. Once a target is chosen, you and your therapist will uncover the part of the memory that is impacting your functioning in life (such as, fear of going to the grocery store after being part of a mass shooting), what beliefs you now hold about yourself as a result (guilt, shame, etc), and how these symptoms show up in the way your body feels (tension in your neck, a heaviness in your chest, etc). You and your therapist will work together to create a neutral response to the trauma memory. Through this process, you will teach your body and your mind that the memory of the trauma is not dangerous, and you are able to be reminded of the trauma without feeling overwhelmed or distressed. Your therapist wants to free you from your “fight, flight or freeze” response to the memory, allowing you to remember the trauma without feeling unsafe.
If you think EMDR might be the right fit for you, reach out to the experienced therapists at Colorado CBT. Colorado CBT therapists are trained in EMDR and ready to guide you through the process of letting go of the suffering and getting your life back. You can’t face this alone, and we are ready to be teammates in your healing.