If you are one of the estimated 5.2 million Americans who suffer from symptoms of PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder), you may find EMDR therapy extremely beneficial. EMDR, which stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a comprehensive approach to psychotherapy that integrates aspects of a number of psychotherapy methods, including psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, experiential, and body-centered therapies. By combining key elements of these forms of psychotherapy, EMDR treatments help give the therapist a “big-picture” look in order to better treat the patient and mitigate, or in some cases eliminate, some of the main triggers of his or her PTSD.

How Does EMDR Therapy Work?

One of the major elements of EMDR is “dual stimulation,” which makes use of bilateral eye movements, taps, or tones. The patient is asked to briefly focus on a memory, present trigger, or future event that may cause feelings of anxiety, stress, or other PTSD symptoms. While the patient is momentarily visualizing this past, present or future event, he or she is also focusing on a set of external stimulus, which causes rapid, rhythmic eye movements. This combination generally results in the emergence of a new memory, creation of a new association, or new insight into the root cause of the PTSD symptoms, all of which can be invaluable towards the goal of effective treatment. By using the external stimuli to help the patient go back and forth between anxiety-causing memories or triggers, he or she can be brought to the present and an accompanying feeling of safety.

Is EMDR Therapy Effective?

EMDR therapy has been rated by several different institutes as an effective treatment of PTSD in both adolescents and adults. Along with trauma-based CBT, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR is one of the recommended first-line psychological treatments for symptoms of PTSD.

Ben Wolf is one of the leading practitioners of EMDR therapy in St. Paul, MN, and has received extensive training through the EMDR Institute. Additionally, Ben is a member of the EMDR International Association and has completed all requirements for EMDR therapy certification. Together, you and Ben can utilize the non-traditional, effective methods of EMDR to help create new associations with painful memories, minimize trigger responses, and ultimately work toward the goal of putting your trauma in the past so you can get back to your life! Contact Ben Wolf’s St. Paul, MN practice today at (612) 643-1920 to schedule a consultation.