PTSD is a troubling condition. It was not until 1980 that it was classified by the American Psychiatric Association in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders. Before then, it was often misdiagnosed as schizophrenia or other mental conditions, and treatment was misguided.
Since it has been properly classified, more treatments for PTSD are available than ever before, including at our location in Rochelle. EMDR therapy is one of them. To find out more about this new method, check out this guide we made for you.
What is EMDR Therapy and How Does it Work?
EMDR is an acronym that stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a new form of psychotherapy that requires patients to recall traumatic memories as the therapist treats their eye movement response.
Recalling these memories often evokes strong, negative emotions. Proponents of EMDR believe that these negative emotions are tied to eye movement. The World Health Organization recognizes this therapy as an approved, evidence-based method for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.
How this treatment works exactly is still unclear, but there is some connection between eye movement and how the human brain processes experiences. It may simulate REM sleep, an orienting response, working memory, dual attention, or the Zeigarnik effect. It may even simulate a number of these to help patients more fully process these traumatic memories.
Who Can Benefit from EMDR Therapy?
EMDR therapy was developed to treat patients who struggle to talk about traumatic events in their life. However, some professionals are expanding its use to help patients who struggle with panic attacks and phobias as well.
However, some professionals categorize EMDR as a type of exposure therapy, which might not be the right method for some patients. Those who feel overwhelmed and unable to tolerate the emotions evoked by recalling these fears or memories may not be ready for EMDR therapy. It is best to speak to one of our qualified Rochelle therapists before making any rash decisions on treatment options.
How Many Sessions Are Necessary?
The goal of EMDR therapy is to help patients minimize the distressing responses that follow recalling traumatic memories. Before the EMDR part of the therapy begins, a trained psychologist will need to gather information about the patient’s history and why they are seeking therapy.
After gaining a clear picture of the patient, the licensed professional will then plan their treatment and prepare the patient for the next steps. The patient will choose a distressing memory and negative beliefs or emotions to focus on during the EMDR therapy sessions.
As the traumatic memory is held in their mind, the patient will follow the therapist’s finger with their eyes or tap their hands to a rhythm. Slowly, the therapist will guide the patient to replace the negative beliefs with positive ones.
This therapy will continue until there are no more distressing physical responses to the memory.
Where to Find EMDR Therapy in Rochelle
EMDR therapy is an evidence-based treatment method for PTSD that works by helping patients fully process their traumatic memories. To receive this therapy in Rochelle, make sure your provider is a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist trained in EMDR, like those found at Braden Counseling Center.
If you think EMDR is a possible solution for you or your loved ones, don’t hesitate to contact us for an appointment today.