EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an effective method of psychotherapy, first developed by psychologist Francine Shapiro in the 1980s. Shapiro noticed that moving her own eyes from side to side seemed to reduce the occurrence of her own troubling memories, and later theorized that undergoing trauma caused negative emotions to be retained within the brain; within the same network of memories as a distressing event. Thus, when a traumatic memory was conjured, the concerned individual would undergo an immense amount of psychological and emotional stress. Once these memories were adequately addressed and reprocessed, the individual would cease experiencing disruptive symptoms, and could return to a normal, healthy state of functioning. EMDR helps individuals reprocess painful memories, and effectively work through past traumatic experiences.
EMDR and PTSD
EMDR was originally developed to help those suffering from symptoms linked to traumatic events. Since it was first developed, however, it has become a powerful psychotherapy technique utilized in the treatment of numerous mental health disorders. It has proven effective in the treatment of anxiety, panic disorders, insomnia, low self-esteem, and many other emotional problems. EMDR is now recognized as the most rapid and effective treatment method for post-traumatic stress disorder; this claim has been repeatedly backed by extensive scientific research. Next Chapter utilizes numerous therapeutic methodologies of trauma recovery, providing a comprehensive program of PTSD treatment for men. EMDR plays a major role in nearly every personalized program of recovery, seeing as its effects are instantaneous and long-lasting. However, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is the most effective when combined with other, traditional methods of therapy – thus, our program is multifaceted and highly individualized. Several of our clinical staff members are licensed and certified in EMDR therapy, and boast years of applied, professional experience.
How Does EMDR Work?
EMDR therapy takes place in one-on-one therapy sessions, which are typically held multiple times a week. The therapist will gently encourage the patient to revisit past traumatic experiences, recalling and acknowledging negative feelings and thoughts that may arise. The therapist will then guide the patient’s eye movement, often using his or her fingers as a reference point. The more intensely the client is able to focus on a specific memory, the easier it will become to work through negative feelings associated with that memory. If an EMDR session is successful, vivid images will arise – memories will come to life. Once they do, they can be successfully reprocessed; painful feelings can be resolved, and uncomfortable, stress-inducing memories can be stored appropriately within the brain. There are typically eight stages in EMDR therapy: treatment planning, preparation, assessment, desensitization, installation, body scan, closure, and reevaluation. Because every patient is different, and each phase will take a varying amount of time, the entire length of the process is likely to vary. However, extensive progress can be made in a matter of three months – the recommended length of stay at Next Chapter.
PTSD treatment for men can be difficult, seeing as men often have a difficult time opening up and expressing emotional vulnerability in traditional talk therapy settings. EMDR is a non-invasive and proven way to effectively and quickly treat unresolved trauma.