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  • Writer's pictureKevin Kenealy

Why EMDR Therapy Works

Panic, worry, melancholy, nightmares, or simply feeling stuck or dissatisfied in relationships are all symptoms of trauma that can manifest in a variety of ways. Trauma can cause problems in a variety of areas of one's life. EMDR therapy is one of the most successful treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), trauma, and anxiety. In 2022 there are several types of therapy available, EMDR therapy is considered one of the most effective.

Many people who are suffering these unpleasant feelings or the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) end up seeking treatment from a therapist with whom they feel comfortable talking or who they believe will provide the most rapid treatment. These considerations are critical, but they are not the only elements that must be considered to effectively heal from trauma. EMDR therapy includes some of the most important components for resolving these challenges.

When eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy was discovered about thirty years ago, it was immediately fine-tuned and became widely renowned for the incredible influence it had on therapeutic change, growth, and healing. As an EMDR therapist, I've had the luxury of witnessing remarkable transformations in the lives of my clients throughout the course of our collaboration. What I've discovered is that there are normally three significant benefits of EMDR therapy that I notice with my clients daily.

These are as follows:

Reorganizing thoughts around the trauma.

When someone gets EMDR therapy, they can reorganize their thoughts, feelings, and memories that are linked to the trauma. People don't get used to the trauma memory so that it doesn't cause them to be anxious or make them feel bad anymore. It is not about that. When you change how your brain stores memories, you don't have to link them to the emotions, sensations, and anxiety-provoking stimuli that used to be linked to them. Many of therapy clients have said that it is a therapy that moves memories from being their only story to being just a short chapter in their book of life. As time goes on, the trauma memory becomes a "is what it is" event that no longer has a say in the client's experience in the present day.

Letting go of it.

EMDR therapy helps the client let go of the pattern of thinking in circles and worrying that often comes with traumatic memories, so they can move on. People who have EMDR therapy feel lighter than they did before the therapy because of a lot of changes that happen during the therapy. They think they can let go of the weight of the memory that made them sad or anxious and move on with their lives. A lot of people say they feel like the memory is more distant or "fuzzy." It's not gone, but it's no longer a part of their lives.

New, more positive self-beliefs.

This one is very big. EMDR therapy helps people develop new internal beliefs that can be used in a wide range of situations in their lives. There are many ways EMDR therapy can help, but it also affects how someone thinks about themselves. This affects your relationships, your life perspective, your behavior, and more. It can boost your motivation, mood, and sense of self-worth. Traumatic events, big or small, have a big impact on how we talk to ourselves inside. A greater portion of negative self-beliefs come from problems, bad relationships, conflict, not being able to connect with significant others, or bad things that happened to us. With EMDR therapy, you can work through these things and change the way you think about things, which changes how you feel about the world.

The long story short

Many people think that EMDR therapy is only for people who have had bad experiences. It is much more than that! It is a way to change the way you think about yourself. It can help people move from a place of reacting to a place of reasoning, and from negative self-beliefs to a positive self-image, by putting them in a new place. Sometimes, EMDR therapy takes less time to reach these goals, but in other cases it can take just as long, but with a more pervasive improvement in one's general sense of well-being. EMDR therapy is a great way to get over trauma, anxiety, or a whole host of other problems, because it can help people change on both a micro and macro level and help them get better where other therapies fail.

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