Never Be Afraid to Get the Psychological Help You Need

Never Be Afraid to Get the Psychological Help You Need

Overcoming Trauma: Why Choose EMDR Therapy

by Wayne Owens

Some counseling approaches, like talk therapy with a psychologist, are sufficient for helping someone manage their emotions and gain more control in their day-to-day life. However, sometimes a different therapy model can be even more effective. EMDR, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, is a type of therapy that specifically addresses traumatic events that cause significant feelings of grief, anxiety, fear, or depression. Here's why EMDR therapy might be the right choice for you.

Mental Health And Your Body's Physical Response

Your brain stores traumatic memories differently than normal experiences. When experiencing acute or chronic traumatic circumstances, your brain and therefore your body values survival most highly. As a result, the traumatic memory is often suppressed until a trigger, like a smell or sound, brings it back to your remembrance. These experiences have not healed over time and they affect the way your brain and body handle new challenges. New negative experiences can strengthen the negative effect of trauma on your mind and body.

You might experience dissociation when dealing with anything that reminds you of upsetting experiences. You may have troubling dreams, unexplained surges of anger or fear, difficulty sleeping, or feelings of depression. These are trauma responses and EMDR directly tries to encourage the healing of these wounds so that your brain and body are not as affected by triggering events. 

EMDR Approaches For Healing

EMDR uses eye movements, physical tapping, and cognitive reprocessing approaches to try and reset this physical response to traumatic memory. Visualization tactics are also a big part of EMDR therapy. When you start therapy, you can expect to:

  • Provide information about your experiences. Even though it can be hard to open up about some of the things that are difficult for you to process or even understand, knowledge of your experiences helps your therapist to know where to begin when it comes to reprocessing traumatic responses. 
  • Identifying how the trauma affects your belief about yourself. Usually, negative life experiences come with belief systems that affect what you do. For example, a child who was neglected might have an underlying belief that they are unimportant or that they have no control. Triggering experiences will reinforce this foundational belief. 
  • Installing new beliefs to help replace the old ones. As you start to unravel some of the experiences you've had, you will have space for learning new, healing information. EMDR helps upload some of these healthier beliefs by talking, tapping, visualizing, and using your eyes to focus on things in the room.
  • Revisiting triggers to assess if the physiological response is less intense. As you work through traumatic memories, you should experience less and less discomfort. Grief and pain don't always go away, but your ability to heal from them and think about them without anxiety, fear, or guilt is the goal of therapy. 

Talk to a trauma therapy professional in your area about whether EMDR is right for you.


About Me

Never Be Afraid to Get the Psychological Help You Need

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!