If you've ever heard somebody describe EMDR therapy, you may have thought that it sounded like hypnosis. After all, both therapies involve guided relaxation and focused thinking. However, there are some key differences between the two types of therapy.
If you are thinking about pursuing EMDR to treat depression, anxiety, PTSD, or the effects of trauma, you should know these differences.
EMDR Focuses More on Trauma
For one, hypnosis is usually used to help people change their behavior. This might mean quitting smoking or losing weight. EMDR, on the other hand, is used to treat emotional distress that is the result of a traumatic event.
While you might turn to hypnosis to address your own habits or behavior, EMDR is helpful for processing emotional trauma that is outside of your control.
EMDR Keeps You Present
EMDR is also different from hypnosis in that it does not aim to put people into a trance-like state. Instead, the goal is to help people process and release the emotions that are causing them distress.
As a result, EMDR is more active than hypnosis. During EMDR, people are asked to focus on specific memories or images while also paying attention to the therapist's guidance. This back-and-forth focus can help people process their emotions and release the hold that trauma has on their life.
EMDR Is More Structured
Another key difference is that EMDR is a more structured therapy than hypnosis. There are eight phases to EMDR, each of which has a specific purpose. This structure can help people feel more comfortable with the therapy and know what to expect.
Hypnosis, on the other hand, is less structured and can vary depending on the therapist. You may find that some therapists combine different techniques.
EMDR Helps You Address the Root of the Problem
Finally, EMDR is different from hypnosis because it helps people address the root of their problems. Hypnosis may help people change their behavior, but it does not always get to the heart of the matter.
EMDR, on the other hand, can help people understand and release the emotions that are at the root of their distress. This can lead to lasting change and healing that has permanent effects in many areas of life.
Talk to Your Therapist About EMDR Therapy
If you are considering EMDR therapy, it's important to understand how it differs from hypnosis. These differences can help you decide if EMDR is right for you.
For more information, contact a local EMDR therapist.
After developing a chronic physical illness, I soon began realizing that the disease plagued my mind almost more than it did my body. While my illness is not life-threatening, it was very difficult accepting that I would have to take medication for the rest of my life and eat a strict diet. After a year of depression, I finally overcame my fear of "exposing" my feelings to others and made an appointment with a mental health counselor. With her help, I was able to see the "silver linings" in life that I had greatly taken for granted before I became ill. I now encourage anyone who is battling an illness of any type to seek the psychological help they need. I plan to post lots of little mental health tips and tricks on my new blog along with advice for choosing a good counselor. Please come back soon!