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Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy in VT

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Heal From Your Past

Are you ready to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress resulting from trauma or other distressing life experiences? Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) focuses on changing how your brain stores memories to help you heal. It helps you lessen and overcome the impact of trauma naturally and typically more quickly than other therapeutic approaches.

EMDR uses a client’s rapid, rhythmic eye movements to diminish the power of emotionally charged recollections of past events. While it may seem like an unusual treatment, EMDR is scientifically proven to be an effective treatment for healing all types of trauma and adverse emotions.

What Is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR is an effective treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) involving specific eye movements to reduce the intensity of trauma. These distressing thoughts stem from traumatic memories that weren’t processed adequately. Recalling a disturbing memory can trigger the same painful emotions and thoughts you experienced at the time of the unpleasant event. EMDR aims to reprogram the way your brain stores traumatic memories to reduce symptoms of PTSD.

How Does EMDR Therapy Work?

During the EMDR session, one of our therapists will move their fingers from one side of your face to the other and ask you to follow their fingers with only your eyes. Simultaneously, our therapist will ask you to recall a traumatic event, including body sensations and emotions that go along with the event. Each of these EMDR sessions typically lasts an hour to 90 minutes.

Gradually, the therapist will guide you into shifting your thoughts from those traumatic memories to far more pleasant ones.

Depending on the therapist, they may use two of their fingers, a light rod or sound tappers for bilateral stimulation of the brain.

Prior to and following each treatment, your therapist will ask you to rate (often from one to 10) your current level of distress. Ideally, the goal is that your disturbing memories become less distressing.

While the majority of EMDR research has examined its use on people with PTSD mental health professionals also use the treatment for other disorders, including addiction.

8 EMDR Steps

EMDR works through eight phases during your treatment course to reach successful results. These phases include:

1. History and Planning

During your first EMDR session, our therapists will ask you a few questions to understand your history better and uncover the cause of your trauma. However, the therapy does not require you to go into too much detail about the traumatic event. We will simply ask about the emotions and sensations you experienced at the time of the trauma.

2. Patient Preparation

EMDR trauma therapy may cause you to feel some strong emotions, so we will equip you with the skills to cope with these feelings during the therapy. One of the primary goals of EMDR is to teach you self-care techniques when dealing with negative emotions.

3. Patient Assessment

During the assessment phase, we will ask you to identify images and feelings associated with the traumatic event. We will also discuss negative beliefs you have about yourself and replace them with positive statements.

4. Desensitization

Phase four begins the trauma processing. During this stage, we will bring your attention to negative feelings and beliefs while navigating you through the rapid eye movements, and we will ask you to explain your feelings throughout the process. This stage helps you process traumatic feelings and reduce their power over you.

5. Installation

With stage five, we will ask you to focus on the positive image or thoughts while engaging in rapid eye movements. This stage will continue until you successfully replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

6. Body Scan

Once you successfully cultivate positive thoughts and emotions, we will focus on how your body responds to mention of the trauma. We will look for tense areas on your body and continue to work on your therapy until you can talk and think about the event without your body tensing up.

7. Closure

Stage seven aims to prepare you to deal with your emotions between each therapy session and how to react when disturbing images and thoughts reappear. We will also review the steps and techniques we introduced in step two.

8. Reevaluation

We will begin each session by evaluating your progress and ensure you maintain positive results between sessions. We will also ask you how you feel about the subjects of your previous session and use this information to decide how to proceed with the treatment.

How Effective Is EMDR?

Since Psychologist Francine Shapiro developed it in 1989, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing has become widely used for treating trauma. Depending on the study, EMDR has anywhere from 77% to 90% effectiveness in treating trauma in as little as three sessions. Since trauma often is the root cause of addiction, EMDR is a common treatment for people in addiction recovery.
There are no known side effects of EMDR. It can quickly lead to significantly reduced symptoms, including anxiety, intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and avoidance.

How Else Is EMDR Different From Other Therapies?

The process of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing treatment is clearly different from traditional talk therapy since it relies on eye movement to resolve distressing memories.

EMDR also focuses on specific memories instead of general symptoms, which makes it a targeted mental health treatment meant to heal one specific instance or circumstance at a time.

In EMDR, the relationship between the client and therapist must be one of trust. Because EMDR seems so untraditional, the therapist must be trained in this form of healing, and the client must trust the therapist to lead them to positive outcomes. Clients must come to each EMDR session ready to focus on and tackle a specific issue from their past that is challenging their present.

What Does EMDR Treat?

EMDR is most effective for trauma survivors who are impacted now by things that happened to them in the past. It’s also helpful for people with extreme anxieties or phobias. EMDR also is known to help cure somatic symptoms or physical symptoms without a medical explanation.

EMDR can be effective for treating:

  • Drug or alcohol addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Trauma disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Phobias
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Chronic pain
  • Appearance and body-related disorders
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Therapists use EMDR to treat various mental health disorders, including some not listed above. After learning your concerns, the mental health professionals at Sana will work with you to determine if EMDR is right for you. If so, your therapist will combine it with other therapies as part of your treatment plan.

Start EMDR at Sana

If you think Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing might be the right treatment for you or your loved one, contact Sana at Stowe today. We know this treatment seems a little outside the norm, so we’re happy to answer any questions and address any concerns you may have. We take most major insurance to reduce any financial concerns associated with recovery. Call us today to start your healing journey and leave your past behind.

2023 National Patient Safety Goals

Sana at Stowe has achieved accreditation and received

a Gold Seal of Approval® from The Joint Commission®.

This accreditation award verifies that Sana meets the most rigorous quality and patient safety standards of care, and shows a dedication to excellence across the full continuum of care. Learn more.

In-network with BlueCross BlueShield and OPTUM

Sana at Stowe is in-network with BlueCross BlueShield and OPTUM
and also accepts most out-of-network insurances, and accepts all private insurance. We provide financial assistance to help with the cost of treatment.