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How does EMDR therapy help people who have experienced trauma?

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Earlier this year Prince Harry revealed He used a treatment called EMDR to deal with anxiety and trauma. This includes trauma from the death of her mother, Princess Diana, at the age of twelve.

He demonstrates this technique in the Apple TV + documentary The Me You Can’t See.

EMDR stands for desensitization and reprocessing of eye movements. But what is this remedy and how does it work?

What is EMDR?

EMDR is Psychotherapy treatment It aims to reduce the tragic emotions associated with traumatic memory.

This includes consultation with a trained psychologist and usually requires about 12 sessions.

Broadly speaking, a session contains eight steps.

  • History and treatment plans: Psychologists discuss specific reasons for the patient’s visit and look up a detailed medical history
  • Preparation: Psychologists tell patients what they can expect from EMDR.In this phase, psychologists also teach patient relaxation techniques that can be used to calm themselves during or after a session.
  • evaluation: Psychologists ask patients to choose vibrant images in their minds that relate to the memories they want to work with.Patients are also asked to focus on negative beliefs about themselves, or Negative emotions Associated with the event
  • Desensitization: Patients are asked to retain traumatic memory of the mind while visually tracking the movements of the psychologist’s fingers. Psychologists can also guide the patient by tapping (eg, the patient tapping the knee with both hands in an alternating pattern) or by auditory sounds transmitted through headphones.These alternatives to eye movement involve the same part of the brain
  • install: Patients are guided to replace their original negative beliefs with positive beliefs
  • Body scan: The patient considers the original memory to see if there is any physical tension left in the body. Amnestics are usually completed when the memory is no longer painful to the patient. If that doesn’t work, repeat step 4.
  • close: This concludes the session.If memory strength has not yet completely diminished, the psychologist will instruct the patient to perform relaxation exercises until the next session.
  • reassessment: This is the beginning of the next session, where psychologists and clients will evaluate the work of the previous session and reassess the treatment plan if necessary.

The therapist continuously checks in to clients throughout the process.

An important step at the end of treatment is to look to the future. Psychologists may ask patients to imagine the expected challenges.

For example, if a patient has a car accident, they may imagine driving on the freeway at night or alone to see if they experience disastrous emotions. If so, the patient may still need a little more treatment.

A unique aspect of EMDR is that the person may not need to discuss his disturbing memories in detail. Psychologists may ask, “What happened to you in pain?” And the patient may say, “That was what my dad did to me.” This process can be performed without any additional information.

How does EMDR work? And who can use it?

The dual activity of thinking about miserable memory and moving the eyes quickly from side to side seems to reduce the emotional level of memory.

One theory is that thinking about traumatic memory and chasing something with the eye requires more memory capacity than is available and is therefore painful. memory Not fully accessed Lose that power..

EMDR therapy is most commonly used to treat traumatic stress symptoms and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD).

NS Review of 26 clinical trials EMDR treatment has been shown to significantly reduce the symptoms of PTSD, depression, anxiety, and distress in patients with PTSD.

Proven use of EMDR in children with PTSD To be effective that too.

Man With phobia Or anxiety concerns can also benefit With depression..

Studies suggest that EMDR is an effective approach to reducing trauma, but there may be some risks Or side effects Involvement. These include:

  • Increased miserable memory
  • Increased emotional and physical sensations during the session
  • Lightheadedness
  • A clear dream
  • New emergence Traumatic memory..

If any of these occur, the treating psychologist usually assists the patient in handling them during the session.

Is EMDR recognized?

NS World Health Organization And that International Association for Traumatic Stress Studies Both recommend EMDR therapy as a treatment for adults and children with PTSD.

It is also approved by Australian Psychological Society..


Children’s PTSD can be treated quickly and effectively within hours


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How does EMDR therapy help people who have experienced trauma?

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