EMDR Therapy Near Me

EMDR as a Treatment for Serious Trauma

Mental health specialists use a variety of techniques to help people affected by PTSD and other trauma-related conditions. Long-established treatment options include medication and traditional psychotherapy. Today, there is an additional option for treating trauma: EMDR therapy. This therapy uses a unique process to help you overcome the effects of serious trauma. Research shows that EMDR is useful and effective in many cases.

What Is EMDR

EMDR therapy is the common abbreviation for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy. This therapy was developed in the 1980s specifically to help people affected by serious forms of trauma. The principles of EMDR state that people with PTSD and similar conditions suffer from traumatic memories. These memories are “unprocessed,” which means that they have not resolved as they should. The goal of EMDR is to help you finish processing these damaging memories.

EMDR near you takes place in one-on-one sessions with your therapist. During each session, you work on processing a particular memory. Your therapist will ask you to focus on different aspects of that memory, including things such as:

  • The images it brings up
  • Your emotional reactions to it
  • The thoughts it brings up
  • Your bodily reactions to it

Your therapist will then ask you to rate the level of disturbance caused by the memory. That rating can range from a zero for no disturbance to a 10 for extreme disturbance. Your therapist will also ask you to rate the way you think about the memory.

Next comes the desensitization phase of EMDR. Your therapist will ask you to pay close attention to the memory as you do one of two things:

  • Perform a specific set of back-and-forth eye movements
  • Follow a tone that move back and forth from one ear to the other

The combined effect is to help reduce the level of disturbance caused by the memory. Your therapist will then ask you to think about positive things while focusing on that memory. The same basic technique is used to help you process your physical trauma reactions. At the end of the session, you and your therapist will assess the effectiveness of the therapy.

Most people take part in anywhere from six to 12 sessions of EMDR. Some require more sessions, while others require fewer. In most cases, you participate in one or two weekly sessions until the therapy is concluded.

EMDR and Trauma

Trauma is your body’s natural response to certain kinds of shocking or upsetting events. Up to a point, you can process these events on your own without suffering any long-term effects. However, everyone has a limit for the amount of traumatic stress they can handle. If you are pushed past this limit, you are at risk of developing significant problems.

Eventually, you may qualify for a diagnosis of a mental health condition called a trauma- and stressor-related disorder. The most common and famous condition of this type is PTSD or posttraumatic stress disorder. Additional examples that are less common include:

  • Acute stress disorder, or ASD
  • Adjustment disorder

The category also includes two conditions only diagnosed in children:

  • Reactive attachment disorder
  • Disinhibited social engagement disorder

Complex Trauma and Trauma Triggers

In many cases, PTSD is the result of one-time or limited exposure to trauma. However, some people are exposed to traumatic situations again and again. In addition, some people live with daily trauma for months or years at a time.

In these circumstances, you may develop something called complex PTSD. People with complex PTSD have additional symptoms that do not normally form part of a PTSD diagnosis. These extra symptoms add to the burden of the illness. They can also increase the difficulty of an effective recovery.

People affected by PTSD and complex PTSD typically have what is known as trauma triggers. These triggers vary from person to person and can include such things as:

  • Specific situations or places
  • Certain sounds, smells or tastes
  • People you associate with a traumatic event
  • Specific objects
  • Certain words or phrases

When a trigger is encountered, the symptoms of your condition tend to grow worse.

The Role of EMDR Therapy Near You

EMDR is designed to help you overcome your trauma and trauma triggers. By focusing on your memories, it strives to alter your view of past traumatic events. In this way, it helps to reduce the severity of your trauma-related symptoms. In a best-case scenario, the therapy helps completely eliminate those symptoms.

The Real-World Benefits of Trauma Processing With EMDR

EMDR therapy near me

Does trauma processing with EMDR work? Experts at the federal government’s National Center for PTSD say the answer to this question is yes. Trauma-focused therapy, in general, is considered one of the best ways to ease the impact of PTSD. That includes the methods used in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy.

EMDR as an Aid to Counseling or Other Therapies

EMDR therapy near you is just one of the counseling and therapy options for treating PTSD. Other potential options include:

  • Exposure therapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Cognitive processing therapy
  • Interpersonal therapy
  • Stress inoculation therapy
  • Supportive therapy

Each PTSD recovery plan is customized to the individual. Your particular plan may include more than one counseling or therapy option. This means that you may receive additional treatments besides EMDR. If this happens, your treatment team will coordinate your EMDR with your other therapies. In addition, your treatment plan may include antidepressants or certain other medications.

Inpatient Trauma Treatment and EMDR

Some people with PTSD or another trauma-related condition get better in an outpatient program. You may fall into this category if you:

  • Do not have moderate-to-severe symptoms
  • Have a stable home life
  • Want to maintain your daily routine during recovery
  • Can call on the support of your friends and family
  • Do not have other serious health conditions

However, to make an effective recovery, you may need to enroll in inpatient treatment. Appropriate inpatient care can help even if you have severe trauma symptoms. It also provides you with a supportive, 24/7 living environment.

EMDR can be used in either outpatient or inpatient treatment. While in inpatient care, you may go through a normal course of therapy. As an alternative, some people go through intensive EMDR as inpatients. This approach shrinks the total length of the therapy down to a few days.

How do you know if you need inpatient or outpatient treatment? A doctor or specialist will help determine which option is a better fit for you. During your overall recovery, you may benefit from both inpatient and outpatient care.

Dealing With Treatment-Resistant Trauma

Some people do not respond well to typical treatments for PTSD. Unlike others in their programs, they continue to experience significant and unrelieved trauma. Experts refer to this form of PTSD as treatment-resistant PTSD. There is no single reliable option for helping people with this condition. Instead, doctors develop their plans on a case-by-case basis. Your particular plan may or may not include EMDR.

Where Can You Find Professional EMDR Services

Not every treatment provider offers professional EMDR services. This means that you will have to look for sources of EMDR near you. To begin your search, try asking your doctor for recommendations. There is a good chance that you can get a referral to a qualified provider in your area. A mental health or addiction specialist can also provide the help you need.

You can follow the same basic approach if you contact treatment centers on your own. Check to make sure that your favored programs offer EMDR. If they do not, you may want to consider looking at other programs, instead.

Learn More About EMDR Therapy Near You at Emerald Isle

EMDR is a relative newcomer to the field of trauma treatment. However, research shows that it has significant benefits. The goal of EMDR is to help you work through unprocessed traumatic memories. As long as these memories go unaddressed, they can reinforce your symptoms. But when you work through them, you gradually make them less disturbing. As a result, you may experience a substantial reduction in your symptoms.

During each EMDR session, you follow a set checklist of actions. Each step of the way, your therapist will guide you and instruct you. Sessions are typically held once or twice a week. Most people complete EMDR in six weeks to three months. However, others require less time or more time. You may receive the therapy as part of outpatient recovery. EMDR may also form part of your inpatient recovery plan.

Have more questions about EMDR therapy near you? Just ask the professionals at Emerald Isle Health & Recovery. We’ll answer those questions and help you get a better idea of what to expect. Emerald Isle is also a premier provider of mental health and addiction services. We have the expertise needed to help you recover from PTSD or any other trauma-related condition. This is true whether or not you are also affected by serious drug or alcohol problems. Our individualized approach to recovery helps maximize the benefits of your treatment. To learn more about how we can help you recover from trauma, call us today.

  1. American Psychological Association – Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy
  2. American Psychological Association: Trauma
  3. American Psychiatric Association – DSM Library: Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders
  4. American Psychiatric Association: What Is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?
  5. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – National Center for PTSD: Complex PTSD
  6. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Sciences – Chapter 3. Understanding the Impact of Trauma
  7. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – National Center for PTSD: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) for PTSD
  8. National Alliance on Mental Illness: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  9. European Journal of Psychotraumatology: A Five-Day Inpatient EMDR Treatment Programme for PTSD – Pilot Study