EMDR Therapy | Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy

EMDR therapy has been growing in popularity over the past decade. This newer therapeutic technique has been showing great promise in helping people overcome trauma in a variety of ways.

EMDR Therapy

EMDR therapy is one of the newer therapeutic techniques available today, but its growing popularity is for good reason. This type of therapy was originally designed to help people with combat-related PTSD but has since been found to be helpful to anyone who has experienced trauma. No matter how long ago a person’s trauma occurred, it can still have a profound effect on overall health, happiness, and the way that they interact with the world.

EMDR can help people to overcome the effects of their trauma so that they can lead happier, more stable lives. At Emerge Healing Center, we offer EMDR Therapy in Alpharetta to help ease the effects of trauma, dual diagnosis, and addiction.

What is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, a form of psychotherapy developed by Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s. It is designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories. EMDR therapy is guided by the Adaptive Information Processing model, which posits that symptoms of trauma and other mental health conditions arise when experiences are inadequately processed, leading to maladaptive or “inappropriate” responses.

During EMDR sessions, the therapist directs the client to recall distressing images while simultaneously focusing on an external stimulus, typically therapist-guided lateral eye movements, although hand-tapping or audio stimulation can also be used. This process is thought to facilitate the reprocessing of the traumatic memory, integrating it into a more adaptive, cohesive narrative. Over time, this leads to a reduction in the emotional impact of the memory and a decrease in PTSD and other trauma-related symptoms.

EMDR has been extensively researched and is recognized as an effective treatment for trauma and PTSD by organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization. Its efficacy has made it a valuable tool in the field of mental health for helping individuals heal from the effects of trauma.

How EMDR Therapy Works

Despite the growing popularity of EMDR therapy in Alpharetta and across the United States, scientists and physicians still haven’t identified definitively why and how EMDR works. What they do know is that there appears to be a connection between how we think about negative events or emotions and our eye movements. Altering the eye movements in someone with a history of trauma somehow works to reduce the impact that trauma has on your thoughts, physical reactions, and emotional reactions. A session with a therapist who specializes in EMDR in Alpharetta, Georgia will have you think about your trauma while using lights or visual cues to change your eye movements. Then, they will work to instead have you recall a positive memory or emotion, essentially replacing your trauma reaction with a healthier one.

What Does EMDR Therapy Treat?

The biggest appeal to many clients when it comes to EMDR is the fact that it does not involve the use of any medications. This means that it can benefit people with many different types of mental health disorders, no matter their age, prior experiences with therapy or medication, or what type of trauma they’ve experienced. It can be used to treat a wide range of symptoms and mental health conditions, such as:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depressive disorders
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Grief & loss
  • Mental abuse
  • Personality disorders
  • Physical abuse
  • PTSD
  • Sexual abuse
  • Substance abuse & addiction

What Can I Expect During A Session?

EMDR therapy in Alpharetta follows a certain path, which includes 8 different phases of treatment. Phase 1 involves identifying your trauma and the emotional distress it causes; phase 2 involves teaching stress-reducing techniques and the use of imagery. Phases 3 to 6 work to help clients identify negative thoughts they have about themselves, and what emotions these thoughts cause, then utilizing visual stimuli to adjust them. Phases 7 and 8 teach the client self-calming techniques. Throughout, your therapist will keep a close eye on your progress. Some clients need to repeat certain phases more than once to achieve the highest level of relief possible.

EMDR therapy is a very safe and effective type of therapy for those with trauma-related mental health issues. It is non-medicinal, which means you don’t have to worry about spending weeks or months trying to tweak dosages to your needs. EMDR works to help people who have previously found that medications did not alleviate their symptoms. There is some potential for mild side effects, however, which can include:

  • Vivid dreams
  • Recalling traumatic memories you had previously suppressed
  • A temporary increase in distressing thoughts
  • Heightened emotions during and immediately after treatment
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness

For a majority of clients, symptoms fade as they continue treatment. You must share any side effects that you experience with your therapist so that they can help address any new or worsening traumatic memories in subsequent sessions.

Call Today

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, mental health, or co-occurring disorders, then call Emerge Healing Center today. We can help you find which treatment option is appropriate for your situation.

Utilizing EMDR For Addiction

One of the best ways to treat addiction for maximum success in long-term sobriety is to address the underlying causes behind a person’s addiction. For many people, their addiction to drugs or alcohol has been influenced by trauma in their past. EMDR therapy can be used to approach addiction in a trauma-informed way, helping clients to address the underlying influence that these negative experiences have on their drug-seeking behaviors. Thus, EMDR can play a central role in helping people with addictions to not only address the issues that affect their overall mental health but also help reduce the drug-seeking behaviors associated that are the result.

EMDR Therapy in Alpharetta

If you or someone you love has a history of trauma and is struggling with their mental health, contact Emerge Healing Center today. Our EMDR therapy in Alpharetta is available to any client, no matter what their mental health symptoms are, or if they have other complicating factors like an addiction. Our caring and highly-trained staff of mental health experts can help you with effective treatment that will help you to overcome your trauma, and the effect that it has on your mental health and overall wellbeing. With just a single call, you can set up a consultation to assess your suitability for EMDR therapy, and get on the path to overcoming your trauma once and for all.

Anxiety Disorders

The National Institute on Mental Health explains that Anxiety Disorders are more than just experiencing anxiety. With an Anxiety Disorder, the feelings of anxiety not only don’t go away but get worse over time and interfere with daily life.

Types of anxiety include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and other phobia-related disorders.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

A diagnosis of a General Anxiety Disorder means that an individual has excessive anxiety and worry that is hard to control and disrupts their daily life. Symptoms of General Anxiety Disorder include:

  • Ongoing anxiety in several areas of life that aren’t in proportion with the actual events
  • Fear of making the wrong decision
  • Not able to let go of worry
  • Hard to concentrate
  • Overthinking
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness
  • Muscle aches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Easily startled
  • Nausea or diarrhea

Panic Disorder

A Panic Disorder is diagnosed in people who have had at least two panic attacks. They also overthink and change their routines to attempt from having another attack. A panic attack is an intense feeling of fear that includes a sense of danger, pounding heartbeat, sweating, trembling and shaking, chest pain, headache, shortness of breath, feeling detached, chills or hot flashes, feeling dizzy or faint, and more. It’s common to experience a panic attack in your lifetime, but less common to have a Panic Disorder.

Social Anxiety Disorder

It’s common for people to be shy in certain social situations. Meeting new co-workers, a party full of people you don’t know, or interacting with certain family members can all be anxiety-inducing. However, a Social Anxiety Disorder is something more.

A Social Anxiety Disorder is an intense fear of being watched and judged by others that won’t go away. It affects daily activities such as work and school and makes it difficult to do normal, everyday tasks. This fear of being judged is usually beyond an individual with this disorder’s control, but the good news is that it’s a treatable condition.

Phobia-related Disorders

A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder that’s defined by an intense and irrational fear of an object, activity, or situation. It is also not able to be controlled, so an individual with a phobia may feel helpless to its side effects. They also may start to avoid anything that has to do with their phobia. Common phobias include animal phobias, natural environment phobias, situational phobias, social phobias, and Agoraphobia.

need help?

If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health, addiction, or co-occurring disorders then we are here for you. Please give us a call today so you can begin the journey of a lifetime.

More Evidence-Based Therapy Resources

If you’d like to learn more about our evidence-based therapy in Alpharetta, then read some of our informative articles on the topic below. We dive into every aspect of evidence-based therapies so that we can answer any questions you may have.