Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing has been recognized as an effective form of treatment by the World Health Organization, American Psychiatric Association, and Department of Defense. Some studies show that EMDR can alleviate distress symptoms more readily than talk therapy alone. Lindsey Capelli, LPC, NCC, SAC is trained in using EMDR for men and women with a history of trauma and post traumatic stress.

What is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing?
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is a form of psychotherapy developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro designed to treat symptoms of trauma and posttraumatic stress. Unlike other forms of treatment that focus on altering the emotion, thought, and response, EMDR focuses directly on memory. The goal of EMDR is to change the way your memories are stored in your brain to reduce and eliminate problematic symptoms.

What are the 8 steps of EMDR?
EMDR involves an eight-phase method that identifies and processes negative emotions that are contributing to current problems. The eight phases of EMDR are:

1. Getting a detailed history and planning treatment.
2. The therapist and client establish a therapeutic relationship.
3. The therapist and client jointly identify the target memory for that particular session.
4. The client’s disturbing memory is evaluated by the therapist to change the trauma-related sensory experiences and associations.
5. The therapist attempts to increase the strength of the positive association to replace the negative one.
6. The client is asked to do a body scan to know whether there is a physiological response to the negative memory.
7. The therapist explains what to expect between sessions and asks the client to maintain a record of disturbances between sessions.
8. The therapist conducts a review of the effects of treatment and additional target memories are explored.

What happens during an EMDR session?
An EMDR session can last up to 90 minutes. During the session, your therapist will move their fingers back and forth in front of your face and ask you to follow these hand movements with your eyes. At the same time, your therapist will ask you to recall a disturbing memory. Gradually, your therapist will guide you to shift your thoughts to more positive memories. The goal is that your disturbing memories will become less disabling. By inducing the recall of distressing memories, EMDR borrows some of the same principles used in prolonged exposure therapy, the gold standard treatment for PTSD.

If you are interested in finding out whether EMDR therapy is right for you, call Living Well Counseling Center in Tinton Falls, New Jersey today to schedule an appointment. You can also send us a message on the contact page of our website.


Introduction to EMDR Therapy

Learn about how EMDR therapy works, what it is like, and how widely it is recognized.