Used for treating PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and other trauma-related conditions, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy) is an efficacious technique that has shown to be tremendously beneficial. If you are looking for the best EMDR therapist San Diego, Carlsbad, or Encinitas, then keep reading for more information on how you may benefit from this form of therapy.
An EMDR therapist will direct your eye movements while you recall past traumatic experiences or triggering events during your sessions.
It is believed that having your attention diverted while reliving the events that cause stress and anxiety are less emotionally impactful and reduces your psychological response to these memories when you’re exposed to them in the future.
Benefits of EMDR Therapy In San Diego, Carlsbad & Encinitas
It’s thought that people who benefit most from EMDR therapy are PTSD sufferers and people struggling with traumatic memories. However, folks who find it challenging to open up about their past experiences have found it the most beneficial.
Despite there being research into EMDR therapy, it is still in its infancy and relatively limited. This kind of therapy is also being used to treat:
- Panic Attacks
- Eating Disorders
Get Further Help & Support With Your Concerns
How EMDR Therapy Works
There are eight stages of EMDR therapy, with treatment taking approximately 12 sessions.
Stage 1: Personal History & Treatment Planning
To determine your position in your treatment process, your EMDR therapist in San Diego will review your personal history to identify potential traumatic memories that need specific treatment.
Stage 2: Preparation
To help you cope with the psychological or emotional distress that you’re feeling, your EMDR counselor will teach you stress management techniques such as mindfulness and deep breathing.
Stage 3: Assessment
Your therapist will identify specific memories that will be targeted for treatment. During the third stage, you’ll address how these memories make you feel and any physical reactions you experience when you think about specific traumas.
Stages 4-7: Treatment
During these stages, your therapist will begin to treat your traumatic memories using various EMDR techniques while focusing on your negative memories and thoughts.
While you recall your past experiences, your therapist will ask you to perform specific eye movements. Bilateral stimulation techniques can be accompanied by tapping actions and other particular movements.
Following the bilateral stimulation, you’ll be encouraged by your therapist to be mindful of your spontaneous thoughts and feelings. As you’re aware of these thoughts, your therapist may redirect your focus back to the traumatic memory or continue on to your next thought or feeling.
Should you become anxious during your stimulation, your therapist will bring you out of your thoughts, allowing you to calm before moving on to the next memory. Your negative thoughts and feelings of stress will begin to wane over time.
Phase 8: Evaluation
Both you and your therapist will assess the progress of your sessions in the final phase to see how far you have come.
How Effective is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR therapy has been shown to treat PTSD effectively by numerous independent studies. The Department of Veterans Affairs recommends this type of treatment to treat PTSD.
In a 2012 study, 77% of participants (22 people) who have PTSD and psychotic disorder reported positive benefits from EMDR therapy. While the treatment did not exacerbate symptoms, feelings of depression, anxiety, and delusions were dramatically reduced.
EMDR therapy was compared to PE (Prolonged Exposure) therapy in an older study that discovered EMDR was more effective at treating sufferers. While both treatment methods reduced depression, anxiety, and traumatic stress levels, EMDR was shown to have a higher treatment completion rate than PE.
Evidence from numerous small studies suggests that EMDR effectively treats people living with PTSD in both the long and short term.
A study in 2004 evaluated people with PTSD several months after their SC (Standard Care) or EMDR therapy had been completed. The immediate results of the study suggested that EMDR was noticeably more efficacious than SC at reducing PTSD symptoms. The proceeding three and six-month follow-up sessions noted the treatment’s benefits were still present long after it had concluded and that EMDR was significantly longer lasting than SC.
A small study of 32 people who suffered from depression was conducted at an inpatient facility and found promising results in treating the condition. The study found that approximately sixty-eight percent of the participants in the EMDR group had fully recovered following the treatment. As a whole, the EMDR group also showed a far more significant reduction in symptoms of depression.
As this was only a small study, more research is needed on the effects of EMDR on depression.
What You Need To Know Before Trying EMDR Therapy
Though EMDR has fewer side effects than pharmaceutical treatments and is considered safe, some patients have suffered side effects that you should be made aware of.
Thanks (in part) to the heightened awareness that EMDR therapy causes in patients (which lasts beyond the confounds of the session), some people have been known to feel light-headed after the treatment, and it can cause realistic and vivid dreams.
It’s important to remember that while EMDR is particularly effective, it can initially be emotionally stressful and triggering in the early stages as you get to grips with the treatment. Experiencing hyper-awareness while recalling traumatic events can be painful at the start, but the long-term effects come through completing the treatment.
Don’t expect overnight results from EMDR therapy. It takes multiple sessions before you begin seeing the benefits of the treatment, and some patience will be required.
It’s beneficial to speak to your EMDR therapist in Carlsbad, San Diego or Encinitas at the start of your treatment so they can give you advice on how to cope with the various side effects throughout the process.
Find The Best EMDR Therapist San Diego, Carlsbad & Encinitas
It has been shown that EMDR therapy is significantly effective at treating PTSD and trauma-related illnesses. Small studies suggest that it could also be an excellent treatment for depression, anxiety, and panic-related disorders, though more research needs to be conducted.
This kind of therapy is preferential to people who oppose prescription medications, while other patients may want to use EMDR in conjunction with their meds for increased efficacy.
Speak to a licensed therapist if you think EMDR therapy is the kind of treatment that could be effective for you. The easiest way to find the best EMDR Therapist San Diego, Carlsbad & Encinitas is to click the orange button below, answer a few short online questions, and then a qualified therapist will soon contact you.
Get Further Help & Support With Your Concerns
If you live in the greater San Diego area and are struggling with anger management issues or you need couples counseling in San Diego, we can help.