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Checking The Buzz: What Is EMDR Therapy And How Does It Work

Jan 10, 2024 | 0 comments


The information provided here is not intended to be a substitute for professional health and mental health care or consultation. Individuals who believe they may require or benefit from treatment should seek the advice of a psychologist or other licensed mental health professional.

Very Good Counseling is a private practice of licensed mental health therapists who specialize in EMDR.  We provide online mental health services to individuals throughout the State of Florida,  and in-person at our office in Fort Myers, FL. For more information, contact us.

by: <a href="" target="_blank">Elena Engle, LMHC-S, EMDRIA-approved EMDR Consultant</a>

by: Elena Engle, LMHC-S, EMDRIA-approved EMDR Consultant

Because We Believe You Matter

Elena founded Very Good Counseling in 2021. As a therapist, she finds that specializing in EMDR therapy elevates her abilities to help individuals with trauma, PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Passionate about freeing people from years of negative thoughts and destructive habits, Elena is committed to helping individuals find liberation from their past, embracing their truest selves.

Ever found yourself intrigued by the term EMDR and thought, “What’s the fuss?”, “What is EMDR therapy and how does it work?” Well, you’re not alone. 

EMDR therapy is like the secret sauce of mental health treatments, promising to shake things up a bit. It dives deep into those memories that seem to have a life of their own, offering a fresh perspective on how to deal with them.

But, let’s be real, EMDR isn’t a trendy fad; it’s a legitimate player in the mental health game. It’s gaining attention for its unique approach to tackling the ghosts of our pasts. So, if you’ve been curious about what EMDR is and why people are talking about it, you’re in for a treat.

Defining EMDR: It’s All in the Name

Alright, let’s demystify the jargon – EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Sounds fancy, huh? 

But, at its core, it’s a down-to-earth way of dealing with emotional baggage. Imagine your mind as a cluttered room, and EMDR is the methodical cleaner you bring in to organize the chaos. It’s like hitting the reset button on those memories that keep causing a ruckus.

In essence, EMDR therapy acknowledges that our brains are powerful storytellers, sometimes weaving tales we’d rather not revisit. So, consider EMDR as the cool, collected narrator that helps you revise the script, making it a bit more bearable. 

Intrigued? Let’s dive a bit deeper into the hows and whys of this therapy.

The Basics of EMDR: A Therapeutic Workout for Your Brain

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty – how does EMDR actually work? 

Picture yourself in a cozy therapy session, casually chatting about a memory that’s been hogging the mental spotlight. Here comes the interesting part: your therapist introduces bilateral stimulation. 

It might be eye movements, taps, or even some rhythmic sounds. It’s like adding a sprinkle of magic to your brain’s workout routine.

The genius behind this? It’s all about mimicking what your brain naturally does during REM sleep – the time when dreams unfold. 

The eye movements become the dance partner, leading your brain through a choreography that aims to reprocess distressing memories. So, while it might sound a bit unconventional, think of it as giving your brain some extra reps at the emotional gym.

The Reprocessing Dance: How Eye Movements Work Magic

So, here’s the lowdown on why eye movements take center stage in EMDR. As you follow the therapist’s fingers, a lightbar or engage in some rhythmic taps, it’s like a dance that your brain willingly participates in. 

Left, right, left, right – it’s not just a random sequence. This orchestrated movement taps into the brain’s innate ability to process information.

The magic happens in the brain’s reprocessing room, where the emotional baggage gets a rearrangement. It’s not about erasing memories; it’s more like adjusting the emotional volume knob. 

The distressing memory remains, but its intensity is turned down. So, the next time it makes an appearance, it doesn’t hit you like an emotional tidal wave. It might sound like a unique dance routine, but hey, it works for many on their mental fitness journey.

The Emotional Volume Knob: Turning Down the Intensity

Let’s talk emotional volume. Picture a memory as a song playing in your head – sometimes it’s a soothing melody, and other times it’s a heavy metal track on full blast. 

EMDR aims to be the DJ that remixes these emotional tunes. The goal isn’t to mute the memory; it’s more about finding the right balance, turning down the intensity so it’s more of a background hum than a deafening roar.

In simpler terms, EMDR helps your brain create a new mixtape for those challenging memories. It’s like upgrading from a heavy metal concert to a calming acoustic session. 

The memory is still there, but it doesn’t hijack your emotional state every time it plays. So, instead of being an unwilling audience to your own mental concert, EMDR hands you the reins to adjust the volume as you see fit.

Research Speaks: Does EMDR Really Work?

Now, let’s dive into the scientific arena – does EMDR therapy actually hold up under scrutiny? The short answer: yup, it’s got some scientific street cred. 

Research suggests that EMDR can be particularly effective for individuals dealing with PTSD and similar challenges. It’s not a magical cure-all, and results can vary from person to person, but the positive buzz in the research world is hard to ignore.

It’s like finding a new flavor of ice cream that everyone’s raving about – it might not be everyone’s favorite, but for those it clicks with, it’s a game-changer. 

So, if you’re considering EMDR, know that you’re not venturing into uncharted territory; there’s a growing body of evidence supporting its effectiveness. But, as with any therapeutic approach, it’s all about finding what clicks for you.

Considering EMDR: Is It Your Mental Health Toolkit Essential?

Now that you’ve got the lowdown on what EMDR is and how it works, you might be wondering, “Is this the superhero tool my mental health toolkit needs?” 

The answer: it depends on you. EMDR isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution; it’s more like a versatile tool that some people find incredibly helpful.

Think of it as having an extra option in your mental health toolkit – like adding a Swiss Army knife alongside your usual go-tos. If you’re dealing with memories that seem to have a life of their own, EMDR could be the superhero sidekick you never knew you needed. 

But, hey, if it doesn’t resonate with you, that’s perfectly okay too. Mental health is a personal journey, and there are plenty of paths to explore.

Closing Thoughts: EMDR in a Nutshell

So, there you have it – EMDR therapy in a nutshell. It’s not about erasing the past or conjuring up some magical fix. It’s more like having a skilled navigator on your mental journey, helping you navigate those tricky terrains. 

If you’re feeling curious, give it a shot. If not, that’s cool too. The mental health landscape is vast, and there’s no one right way to navigate it. Stay curious, stay awesome, and remember – it’s your journey, your pace.

Closing Call-to-Action: Stay Curious, Stay Awesome!

To all the explorers out there, keep that curiosity alive! Dive into what feels right for you, whether it’s EMDR or another avenue of self-discovery. 

Mental health is a unique adventure, and there’s no rush to reach the destination. Your well-being is worth the exploration, so take it one step at a time and enjoy the journey.

Start your healing journey with us. 

Not to brag, but we’re Very Good.

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