Everyone has endured some type of wounding in their life. Many suffer in silence as these wounds continue to fester, either unaware of the cause or maybe just how to deal with it.
The wounds can be rooted back in childhood and triggered by current stressors or could be from more recent events. Sometimes these aren’t felt as memories we recall in story form, but stored in the body or coming up as distressing emotions such as anxiety and depression. EMDR Therapy’s unique approach is effective in helping to target,
desensitize, and finally heal those wounds. EMDR Therapy has been around for over 30 years, but has recently become more popular as it is referenced in mainstream media, but what exactly is it?
I’m Holly Grupe, owner and a therapist at Balanced Growth Counseling and here’s a brief overview of EMDR therapy and how it works and why I use it to help my clients go deep and find healing.
Let’s start off with some of the basics:
1. The name
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. When doing some phases of EMDR therapy, the therapist uses bi-latural stimulation with you to create an environment where the brain is able to engage in its natural healing.
2. Bi-latural stimulation (BLS):
what it means and what is does:
During active reprocessing there is some type of 2 sided sensory stimulation occurring. This is usually following something back and forth with your eyes, having buzzers that lightly vibrate in your hands or a sound that switches from ear to ear.This bi-latural stimulation creates an environment for the brain to move more fluidly through memory networks.
Here are two main reason why EMDR is so effective:
1. It creates a healing environment:
While all therapists aim to create a safe place to be vulnerable and share private thoughts and experiences, this isn’t always enough to help fully heal.
When you get a small cut your body naturally goes through its own process to heal without you really needing to do anything extra. But if you get a splinter in your cut, it might get infected and not be able to heal properly.
The splinter needs to be removed and then the body can go back to doing its natural healing. The brain is the same way. You are constantly processing and adapting information without having to consciously think about it, but when an event is traumatic or maladaptively stored in the brain, it’s like a splinter.
Bi-Lateral Stimulation helps create an environment where the splinter can be removed from the mind so the brain can resume its natural healing process.
2. What EMDR fundamentally believes about people:
EMDR Therapy believes that people are inherently adaptive and designed to heal. This is important because it means the therapist knows however you’re reacting or feeling makes sense. Instead of trying to make it go away, EMDR therapy can help integrate memories, emotions and experiences that have become maladaptive in the present and move them to a more adaptive state.
Here’s what I mean about maladaptive vs adaptive and why it’s important for you to know.
If you had a lisp when you were younger and your peers teased you, it would be a very adaptive response to become quiet and not talk much to avoid further bullying or embarrassment.
However, this could eventually develop into high social anxiety or debilitating fear of public speaking that makes it challenging for you to do your job or connect with others.
Eventually this response becomes maladaptive and can create a lot of problems in the present. EMDR Therapy specifically focuses on desensitizing the memories so the information from the initial experience(s) that led to the present distress can be processed.
Therefore, no longer creating ongoing disturbances.
If you found this information helpful and feel you are ready to accept some help and stop feeling so burned out. Click the button below to SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT, and start confidently living a life you enjoy!