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EMDR Therapy: What Is It? 5 Fast Therapy Facts

Mental health disorders are common in the United States. Numbers-wise, they affect one in every four adults.

Some of the most common conditions include depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorder. Take post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), for example, it affects up to 8% of the population.

While there’s no cure, there are treatments that can help you regain a sense of control over your life—such as EMDR therapy. If anything, it’s one of the most effective therapies for PTSD.

EMDR therapy—what is it? How does it work? Find out everything that you need to know in our guide below!

EMDR Therapy: What Is It?

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a psychotherapy technique that helps people process upsetting feelings, thoughts, and memories related to trauma.

More specifically, a therapist will direct your eye movements as you focus on the triggering experiences. The belief is that it’ll help remove the emotional charges of the memories.

You can learn more about how it works here.

5 Things to Know About EMDR Therapy

EMDR is still a fairly new, nontraditional type of psychotherapy. Here’s what you need to know about it.

1. It Was Invented in the 1980s

Psychologist Francine Shapiro invented EMDR therapy in the late 80s. She noticed that certain eye movements helped to reduce the occurrence of her own upsetting thoughts.

Noting the reduction in anxiety, she eventually developed the eight-stage process for EMDR therapy.

2. It Can Help With Several Conditions

EMDR therapy isn’t just for PTSD. It can also help those with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, panic attacks, and addictions.

It’s particularly effective for those who have difficulty talking about their past experiences. With that said, more research is needed to determine its exact effectiveness.

3. It Consists of Eight Phases

EMDR therapy is broken down into several different phases including treatment planning, preparation, assessment, treatment, and evaluation. In other words, you’ll need multiple sessions for it to be effective.

4. You May Experience Side Effects

EMDR therapy is considered to be safe. With that said, some people may experience a heightened awareness of thinking, which can cause light-headedness and vivid dreams.

Fortunately, they tend to resolve as you continue with treatment.

5. You Can Combine It With Other Therapies

Just because someone is undergoing EMDR therapy doesn’t mean that they can’t undergo another form of therapy. In fact, a combination of therapeutic techniques may be more effective for some individuals.

For example, it’s not uncommon to combine EMDR therapy with cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) or rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT).

Understanding EMDR Therapy

Hopefully, that answers the question, “EMDR therapy: what is it?”. The bottom line is, it can help with various mental health disorders such as PTSD.

Interested in reading more posts like this one? Then be sure to check out some of the other articles in our health section!

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