What to Expect During Your First Session.
The initial session includes history taking, an assessment of the client’s readiness for EMDR, and development of a treatment plan. The client and therapist then identify possible targets for EMDR processing. These include recent distressing events, current situations that elicit emotional disturbance, related historical incidents, and the development of specific skills and behaviors that will be needed by the client in future situations. Once a target has been identified, the client identifies the most vivid visual image related to the memory (if available), a negative belief about self, related emotions and body sensations. The client also identifies a preferred positive belief.
EMDR therapy involves the use of bilateral stimulation through eye movements, buzzers, tones, and taps. Bilateral stimulation is stimuli (visual, auditory or tactile) which occur in a rhythmic left-right pattern. For example, visual bilateral stimulation could involve watching a hand or moving light alternating from left to right and back again. Auditory bilateral stimulation could involve listening to tones that alternate between the left and right sides of the head. During this time the client attends to past memories, present triggers, or anticipated future experiences. Clients generally experience the emergence of insight or new associations.
How EMDR Helps.
By inducing the recall of distressing events and diverting attention from their emotional consequences there should be less emotional distress associated with the memory, reduced vividness of disturbing images, a shift in thoughts, and a greater accuracy in memory.
What is EMDR?
EMDR is a technique that facilitates the reprocessing of a traumatic memory. EMDR is backed by scientific research and has been established as an effective method for post traumatic stress, phobias, panic attacks, anxiety disorders, stress, sexual and physical abuse, disturbing memories, complicated grief, and addictions.
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