Are you struggling with anxiety? If so, you may have heard of EMDR. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and is a form of therapy developed to help people overcome their trauma and reduce the symptoms associated with anxiety disorder. In this blog post, we’ll explore what EMDR is, how it works, and what benefits it can offer those struggling with anxiety. We’ll also look at potential drawbacks to be aware of before starting EMDR therapy.
- 1 What is EMDR?
- 2 How Does EMDR Work?
- 3 Why Do People Prefer EMDR for Anxiety?
- 4 Limitations of EMDR for Anxiety
- 5 Techniques of EMDR For Anxiety
- 6 How To Find an EMDR Therapist?
- 7 Conclusion
What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a technique that is used to help people who have anxiety, stress, and trauma. EMDR can help people feel better by working with their natural ability to heal.
EMDR is a type of therapy that uses eye movements to help the brain process memories and events that may be causing anxiety or stress. The therapist will guide the person’s eyes back and forth while they focus on memory or event. This process can help the brain to process the information in a new way, which can lead to reduced anxiety and stress.
EMDR is an effective treatment for anxiety, stress, and trauma. It is a safe and non-invasive procedure that can offer relief from symptoms of anxiety and stress.
How Does EMDR Work?
EMDR therapy uses a process called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), which involves moving your eyes back and forth while you focus on a memory or event that is causing you distress. This can help you to process the memory or event in a new way, which can lead to reduced anxiety and improved mental health.
The working of EMDR is based on the belief that any type of emotional distress, such as fear or sadness, can be linked to a traumatic event or experience. By accessing and reprocessing these memories and emotions through eye movement desensitization, it becomes easier to process them more healthily.
During an EMDR session, your therapist will guide you through the process, helping you to identify a disturbing memory or emotion and what it is linked to. The therapist will then ask you to focus on the memory/emotion while they move your eyes in specific directions, such as left to right, up and down.
Eye movements are thought to help desensitize the traumatic memory and reduce the emotional distress associated with it. As you focus your attention on the memory, and your eyes move back and forth, new information is processed, allowing for a deeper understanding of the traumatic event or experience. This can help to transform unhealthy thoughts into more positive ones.
Why Do People Prefer EMDR for Anxiety?
There are many reasons why people prefer EMDR for anxiety.
One of the biggest benefits is that it is a non-invasive, holistic treatment option. It does not involve any medications or invasive procedures, making it an attractive choice for those who are concerned about potential side effects from drugs or other treatments.
Additionally, EMDR can be tailored to each individual’s needs and goals. Since everyone’s anxiety is different, a personalized treatment plan can be created to best address the individual’s specific issues.
Furthermore, EMDR has been found in studies to be effective in treating a wide range of anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social phobia, and generalized anxiety disorder.
Finally, EMDR can help individuals learn to cope better with their anxiety in future stressful situations. Through the process of reprocessing and reframing experiences, people can gain insight into how they react to certain triggers and take steps to better manage their emotions going forward.
Limitations of EMDR for Anxiety
EMDR is an extremely effective treatment for anxiety, but like all treatments, it has potential side effects. Some of the drawbacks of this type of therapy include:
Requires Experienced Professional
One of the most common drawbacks of EMDR therapy is that it requires a highly experienced professional to be successful. The therapist needs to have experience with understanding the underlying causes of anxiety and how to properly apply different techniques for managing it. Without this, results may not be as satisfactory as desired.
EMDR can also require a significant amount of time to complete. Sessions may last up to an hour or more to properly assess and treat the anxiety disorder. This can be a challenge for individuals who have limited time available due to work or other commitments.
In addition, EMDR therapy can be an expensive option as it requires multiple sessions with a professional therapist, which is often not covered by insurance. This makes it a difficult choice for those on tight budgets.
Long-Term Effects Unknown
Finally, it’s important to note that the long-term effects of EMDR therapy are not completely understood and there is no guarantee that the relief it provides will be permanent. Therefore, individuals should be aware that symptoms may return at any time and should seek help if they do.
Techniques of EMDR For Anxiety
There are many techniques of EMDR for anxiety, including the 8-phase approach, the 3-pronged approach, and the trauma processing model.
The 8-phase approach consists of assessing the problem in detail by:
- identifying target memories and associated emotions or physical sensations
- establishing a safe place to work on these issues using imagery and relaxation techniques as needed, desensitizing the target memories and associated emotions through bilateral stimulation (eye movements, taps, or tones)
- installing positive beliefs to replace negative thoughts about oneself, body scanning for physical sensations
- closure of the session by making positive statements about progress made during that session, and re-evaluation at future sessions.
The 3-pronged approach uses a modified version of the 8-phase approach, focusing on the past and present issues that are causing anxiety. It consists of:
- desensitizing the target memories using bilateral stimulation;
- processing and connecting to positive experiences in to place negative beliefs; and
- cognitive interweaves to install new positive beliefs.
Trauma Processing Model
The trauma processing model is a sequence of 8 steps that focus on the entire traumatic event:
identifying the triggering event, exploring associated sensations and emotions, accessing/processing related memories, connecting with positive experiences to place negative beliefs, re-experiencing the trauma from a safe distance using bilateral stimulation or creative imagery; installing positive beliefs to replace negative thoughts about oneself, body scanning for physical sensations, and closure of the session.
These are some of the techniques of EMDR for anxiety. It’s important to consult with a mental health professional who is trained in EMDR and can help you decide which approach will work best for your specific needs.
How To Find an EMDR Therapist?
Finding a qualified EMDR therapist is not always easy, but it is important to find someone who has received proper training in the therapy and understands your goals.
You may need to search online or contact a local mental health organization to find a practitioner near you. When you do meet with an EMDR therapist, ask them questions about their experience and be sure to ask about their qualifications.
It is also important to remember that the best EMDR therapist for you may not be the same as someone else. Make sure to discuss your worries and preferences with your potential therapist before making a decision.
It is possible to receive EMDR therapy remotely, either in person or over video conferencing, though it is important to consider the advantages and limitations of doing so. Make sure to ask about your therapist’s experience and comfort level with remote treatment before making a decision.
EMDR is a unique and powerful therapeutic technique that has been proven to be effective in treating anxiety disorders. It’s relatively easy to learn, requires minimal equipment, and can be done anywhere. While EMDR alone may not eliminate your symptoms of anxiety, it can offer you the relief and support you need so that you’re better equipped to cope with them. We hope this article has helped equip you with enough information about EMDR for Anxiety so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not it might be right for you.
For more information, please contact MantraCare. Anxiety is a common mental health condition characterized by persistent feelings of worry, fear, and apprehension. If you have any queries regarding Online Anxiety Counseling experienced therapists at MantraCare can help: Book a trial Anxiety therapy session