What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy first appeared on the psychology map in 1987 when Francine Shapiro sought to create a new type of psychotherapy to deal with traumatic events. EMDR’s purpose was to finally provide some type of relief for the millions who had suffered from PTSD, anxiety, trauma and other panic disorders without any really effective resolution, other than shock treatments and other types of less desirable treatments that were virtually inadequate in providing relief.

How Does EMDR Work?

At Hope and Healing for Life, Ben Wolf is trained in EMDR therapy, an approach that is based on the concept that unwanted disturbing behaviors happen when trauma, and other negative experiences, overload the brain’s natural ability to respond properly. One thing Ben learned, after years of research, is that Francine Shapiro came to the following conclusions:

  • Past traumatic experiences are difficult to deal with because they overload the brain.
  • When traumatic experiences are combined with repetitive behaviors, such as tapping or following a therapist’s two fingers or some form of “bilateral behavior,” the combination of these two experiences on the brain allows the mind to become desensitized to the trauma.
  • This process causes the brain to respond properly and replace the traumatic recollections with a calmer, more workable, productive response.
  • As a result, the future becomes more manageable as new thought processes are established, creating a more positive and effective outcome.

EMDR is successful because of the “bilateral stimulation” that allows the brain to by-pass areas that became stuck, and then reprograms the brain to store traumatic experiences appropriately.

EMDR therapy session typically lasts one hour in which a safe environment is created for the trauma to be expressed openly with a different, more peaceful, resolution.

Both the American Psychiatric Association and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies recognize EMDR therapy as an appropriate approach to trauma recovery. The Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, as well as countless First Responders find great relief from this form of trauma resolution, covering such experiences as sexual abuse, rape, combat trauma and every other type of disturbing experience that may have occurred as a child or an adult.

Since 1987, EMDR therapy has had amazing results, including studies that show that 84% to 90% of single trauma victims no longer experience PTSD after only three sessions. Following EMDR therapy, clients report that they sleep better and have become more sensitive to interactions with those they come in contact with. Also important to note is that EMDR can be combined with other types of therapy.

Finding the Right EMDR Therapist

Selecting the best EMDR therapist for you must include the following aspects:

  • Trust is vital, so make sure you feel safe, trusting, validated and that he, or she, knows how to help you discover the true origins of your trauma and knows how to treat these delicate disturbances appropriately.
  • Your EMDR therapist must be trained appropriately because not all treatments are alike. Ask if your therapist has been officially trained in a course that is solely for the purpose of EMDR therapy.

In the Sant Paul, Minnesota area, EMDR training is available at Hope and Healing for life and includes every aspect mentioned above. Contact Ben Wolf today to schedule a consultation. His success with trauma therapy has helped countless people live the life they’ve been looking for.