First, I will start with a basic explanation of EMDR. EMDR is a structured counseling protocol to support patients that experienced a stressful or traumatic experience and the resulting life experience is negative. The results include a reduction in the vividness and intensity of the memory and its emotional and behavioral symptoms. EMDR is widely researched as helpful for persons who have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). In addition, it is helpful to people experiencing anxiety, depression, grief, chronic pain, and addictions. Millions of people have engaged in EMDR and research supports the dramatic benefit in the lives of the people post treatment.
Moreover, several well-known and well-regarded institutions recognize EMDR as an effective treatment including the Veteran’s Administration, The World Health Organization, The National Alliance of Mental Health, and other international and national health organizations. [i]
What Happens In The Brain?
Next, let us consider what happens in the brain when EMDR is used as a treatment modality. Remember, the brain has the capacity to process traumatic experiences. Here is a brief summary from the EMDRIA website:
Our brains have a natural way to recover from traumatic memories and events. This process involves communication between the amygdala (the alarm signal for stressful events), the hippocampus (which assists with learning, including memories about safety and danger), and the prefrontal cortex (which analyzes and controls behavior and emotion). While many times traumatic experiences can be managed and resolved spontaneously, they may not be processed without help.
Stress responses are part of our natural fight, flight, or freeze instincts. When distress from a disturbing event remains, the upsetting images, thoughts, and emotions may create an overwhelming feeling of being back in that moment, or of being “frozen in time.” EMDR therapy helps the brain process these memories, and allows normal healing to resume. The experience is still remembered, but the fight, flight, or freeze response from the original event is resolved.[ii]
So how can I get started with EMDR
First, get in touch with an EMDR certified therapist. If you are not in Texas, please look on the EMDRIA.org website for certified EMDR therapists. If you are in Texas, Florida, or South Carolina, I can provide sessions in person in Montgomery, TX or via telehealth throughout the state of Texas, Florida, and South Carolina as I am a Certified EMDR Therapist.
I committed to the initial training, advanced trainings, and numerous consultation hours as part of the training and practicum requirements to hone my ability to support people with EMDR and to achieve the status as a certified EMDR therapist. Certification is not required to engage in EMDR after the training. EMDRIA states the following about certification,
An EMDR Certified Therapist has committed themselves to ongoing education and skills in the field of EMDR therapy, as well as to EMDRIA’s Policies. Clients may seek an EMDR Certified Therapist, as this credential is an indication of good faith on the part of the therapist, curiosity for ongoing growth, and confidence in EMDR skills.[iii]
What can I expect in an EMDR session?
After you find an EMDR Certified therapist, you and the counselor will determine if EMDR is a good fit for your needs, the counselor will then provide some educational materials on EMDR, and then help you determine the areas in your life that you will process in session. The sessions last from 45 to 90 minutes depending on the needs of the client and the counselors professional experience. Know the client can stop the session at any time and the counselor is trained to end or continue the session as needed by the client. Here’s a video that explains EMDR in detail.
How do I get in touch with Authentic Brain Solutions?
You can give me a call or send me a text at 832.819.1708. In addition, you can reach out through my website to learn more about EMDR therapy. In addition, you can also follow me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/authenticbrainsolutions/ and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/authenticbrainsolutions/
I look forward to hearing from you.
Eileen Borski, LPC, NCC
Certified EMDR Therapist
Certified IASIS Microcurrent Neurofeedback Provider