With the use of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in therapy, it is possible to both reprocess and reconsolidate difficult memories, leading to a reduction in emotional distress and lessened symptomatic thoughts and behaviors.
Many people struggle with unwanted thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations that stem from upsetting memories and events in their past. This often leads them to feel as if they can’t “move on” with their life. Instead, they find themselves repeating old behavioral and thought patterns, struggling with the same unhealthy internal dialogue, reliving difficult memories, suffering from low self-esteem, always feeling on-guard or anxious, and/or avoiding any person or situation that vaguely reminds them of past upsetting event(s) or memories.
It is common for people’s thoughts to change after they experience, or even remember, an upsetting event. Often, people’s view of themselves and others shift, and they may find themselves placing blame or responsibility of those events onto themselves, all of which can be incredibly distressing.
The reasons why our past can feel like it haunts us, hindering us from “moving on” and thriving, and why we experience these different, unwanted symptoms is because, according to leading trauma experts, particularly distressing and traumatic memories are processed and stored differently in the brain than non-traumatic memories are.
Unlike other therapeutic techniques, EMDR does not require the client to remember, share, or relive every part of a distressing event or memory. Mere thoughts, physical sensations, and/or associated emotions are all that is needed to proceed with the work.
Research has shown that this technique is an effective modality for many, allowing a sense of calm, rest, and happiness with a decrease in post-traumatic symptoms and allowing a person to move on with life.
Curious to see if EMDR is right for you? Schedule a consultation with our certified clinician.
— EMDR Clinician —
Sofia is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over half a decade of experience providing individual, couples, family, and group therapy. She has done drop-in wellness counseling for young adults and facilitated support groups for trauma survivors. She is Certified in Gottman Level 1 Couples Therapy and Jennifer Sweeton’s EMDR for Trauma and Anxiety.