EMDR Treatment of PTSD and Acute Stress

With a thorough approach, EMDR is effective in minimizing or eliminating flashbacks, decreasing or eliminating unhelpful fight/flight/freeze responses, decreasing irritability and increasing overall sense of safety, contentment and calm.

In the beginning phase of EMDR therapy, it is important to identify specific goals for being free of PTSD and to clarify how issues and traumatic memories are tied together so that symptoms can be addressed thoroughly and quickly.  We also do some exercises to strengthen existing resources and to lessen stress around the distressing theme or memory. 

 

When you are ready, I support you to safely, quickly and adaptively process old information that no longer serves you.  During this phase, we use several techniques including bilateral (right/left) stimulation through the use of eye movements or hand tapping.  Traumatic information is quickly and safely reprocessed.  Negatively skewed beliefs that formed as a by-product of the distressing memory are radically re-framed.  

 

Following this phase of treatment, many of my clients are surprised at how old, traumatic memories and stress triggers no longer have their pull.  You still recall the facts but the distressing emotions and charged sensations no longer exist.  Maladaptively stored information is cleared out of the central nervous system and old, recurring themes and issues related to the trauma can now be left in the past.  

 

Clients also report new perspectives and positive emotions as the weight of trauma is lifted from their shoulders.  Emotions frequently experienced include:

-Relief

-Acceptance

-Empowerment

-Increased sense of calm

-Increased Joy

-Peacefulness

Therapy and General Life Improvement 

EMDR is also utilized with my clients in helping them to meet more specific personal and professional goals, such as:

-Increased sense of personal power and improved patience in challenging or difficult situations

-Improved motivation and confidence in professional goals

-Decreasing social anxiety

-Confidence in public speaking

Frequency of sessions?

During the preparation and reprocessing phases of therapy, weekly sessions are recommended, then less frequent, bi-weekly sessions are recommended for a short period of time to strengthen and install therapeutic gains.  

Duration of Treatment?

Some clients are able to pin point the core of their issue pretty quickly, they are willing to trust the process and dramatic change occurs within 6-8 sessions then we are able to transition to bi-weekly follow ups, others may have more complex stressors and can benefit from more time.  An ideal length of treatment is 3-6 months, though many people need more time to work through complex issues which is provided so long as therapy is being used for personal progress and healing.   

 

As your therapist, my objective is to greatly minimize or eliminate your PTSD symptoms as soon as possible. Regardless of the pace you need, we will work together to clear out what blocks you from a life free of post traumatic stress.  You will be amazed at how the view is changed once the  traumatic information is adaptively processed so that you can truly move on to a brighter and more peaceful future.

More information on EMDR can be found by visiting: www.emdria.org