Eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR) represents a form of individual adult therapy that stimulates eye movement to help patients deal with traumatic emotions and memories. EMDR therapy is known for its short-term solutions for treating the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). However, how does implementing EMDR psychotherapy techniques benefit the victim of a traumatic event in the long term?
Individuals that suffer from traumatic experiences typically become much more introverted to avoid having to relive past traumatic events. Through eye movement stimulations, EMDR therapy slowly helps individuals gain enough confidence to discuss past traumatic events, without the fear of feeling like a burden, as well as feeling judged or targeted by other people. Achieving an improvement in communication starts with individual adult therapy sessions before a patient feels confident enough to discuss a past traumatic event with someone that they trust.
Feeling of Empowerment
Suffering from the impact of a traumatic event can make you feel highly vulnerable. Once communication channels begin to reopen and you share insight into your feelings, a sense of increased empowerment allows you to change relationships for the better. Although a victim of a traumatic event suffers mentally and emotionally, the people close to the victim also suffer as well. One of the long-term benefits of EMDR therapy is reopening relationships by empowering victims to take more control of their lives.
Healthier Mental Condition
Struggling with the aftermath of a traumatic event damages a victim’s identity and self-esteem. The internal narratives about what happened spill over into personal and professional relationships. Learning to accept the past, no matter how traumatic it was, allows patients to increase their mental strength. A healthier mental condition translates into the disappearance of feeling intimidated, as well as gaining enough confidence to interact with close friends and professional colleagues. In addition, a healthier mental condition provides the victims of traumatic events to interact in couples therapy to mend a broken romantic relationship.
Healing the Brain
When you think about brain trauma, you probably associate it with the physical damage done to the brain. However, the brain also experiences psychological damage after a traumatic event. EMDR therapy stimulates the brain to recover the vivid, positive memories it erased immediately after a traumatic event. When we go through a devastating period, the brain tends to shut out positive thoughts and dwell on the negative.
EMDR follows an incremental approach to restoring the positive memories that drive our lives.
The Bottom LineInitially considered a short-term solution for treating mental conditions such as PTSD, EMDR therapy has emerged as an effective long-term strategy that helps victims of traumatic events reconnect with the things that mean the most in their lives.