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  • Writer's pictureKevin Kenealy

The Effectiveness of EMDR for People who Struggle with Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the world. It can often go unnoticed or is not talked about as much as it should. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is an effective form of therapy for people who deal with depression. EMDR processing works in a way that reprocesses, reprograms, and desensitizes your brain. As scary as that may sound, you are doing plenty of other work as the client. The EMDR trained therapist is merely there as a guide to help you redirect your past trauma and replace it with less negative feelings and anxieties that lead to depression. If you follow the therapist’s guidance, your brain will do most of the reprograming work for you.

Instead of using prescribed medication to “fix“, or manage your depression, EMDR acts as a way to use your own body and mind to “fix“ your traumas. The proof is in the pudding. According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health, an article published as recently as 2015 states that sixty-eight percent of the patients who engaged in EMDR treatment showed full remission at the end of treatment. In the follow-up period for the study, which happened to be more than one year after initial treatment, the EMDR patients reported fewer problems related to depression and fewer relapses than the control group who did not receive eye movement desensitization and reprocessing treatment.

Depression is not always caused by traumatic life events though it can create its own traumatic experiences in life. Using EMDR is extremely effective in retraining your brain to help you better manage your life with depression. With bilateral stimuli such as eye movement and knee tapping, your brain will begin to do brilliant work that you will not even notice just how fast it is working. While depression might never be fully “cured,” eye movement desensitization and reprocessing can help it significantly, as proven by many studies such as the one mentioned above. If you or somebody you know needs this form of therapy, do your research, and see if it is the right fit for you.

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