EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a type of therapy approach that reduces the emotional impact and anxiety often triggered by certain traumatic memories.

Your psychologist may suggest EMDR therapy if you’re experiencing distress, anxiety, or PTSD symptoms.

According to American Psychological Association (APA), “Unlike other treatments that focus on directly altering the emotions, thoughts and responses resulting from traumatic experiences, EMDR therapy focuses directly on the memory, and is intended to change the way that the memory is stored in the brain, thus reducing and eliminating the problematic symptoms.”

How Does EMDR Therapy Work?

As outlined by APA, there are 8 different phases to EMDR Therapy:

1) History Taking and Treatment Planning

You and your therapist will discuss your history and past memories while focusing on your goals for treatment.

2) Preparation

Your therapist will explain how the treatment works, what you can expect during each appointment, and how to manage any regression when you’re away from the clinic.

3) Assessment

Your therapist works with you to help activate the targeted memory through the identification of 4 vital components: image, cognition, affect and body sensation.

4) Desensitization

While you are recalling your targeted memory, your therapist will guide your eye movements. With this approach, the memory will become less distressing over time.

5) Installation

This phase works to help strengthen a positive thought that is then used to replace the distress you experience from the targeted memory.

6) Body Scan

Your therapist will ask you to observe your physical response while you recall the memory paired with the positive experience in phase five. At this point, you will recognize and identify any remaining negative emotion or distress signals and relay this information to your therapist.

7) Closure

Used at the end of your session, your therapist will provide you with techniques to ensure containment of your targeted memory if the positive experience was not fully embedded in your consciousness.

8) Re-evaluation

Your therapist will evaluate your psychological state after therapy to see if your treatment was successful. From there, your therapist will analyze if other memories are emerging as a result and work with you to set new goals.

Find a Twin Cities EMDR Therapist

To find out if EMDR therapy can benefit you, request an appointment with our clinic today!

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