What is EMDR Therapy?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a mental health treatment technique designed to reduce trauma-related PTSD, stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms. It does not require talking in detail about a distressing issue, but instead focuses on changing the emotions, thoughts, and behaviors that result from the memories. It involves moving your eyes in a specific way (or sometimes uses tapping or tones) while you process traumatic memories with the goal of helping you heal from the experience. This reprocessing helps “repair” the mental injury, making the memories and associations much more manageable.

Many clinical trials have shown this technique to be effective and can help a person faster than many other methods.  Organizations including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, US Department of Veterans Affairs, and US Department of Defense recognize EMDR as an effective treatment.

What Conditions Does EMDR Treat?

While the most common use of EMDR therapy is to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), it can also be effective in treating the following conditions:

  • Trauma:  Acute stress disorder, PTSD, and adjustment disorder
  • Anxiety:  Generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, and social anxiety/phobia
  • Depression:  Depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, and illness-related depression
  • Dissociative:  Dissociative identity disorder, amnesia and depersonalization, and derealization disorder
  • Eating:  Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive:  Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), body dysmorphic disorder, and hoarding disorder
  • Personality:  Borderline personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, and anti-social personality disorder

If you would like to learn more about EMDR, please reach out to Sydney Isley at 317-660-5532.

Related struggles include:  AnxietyStress ManagementPanic AttacksPhobiasDepression, Grief.

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