Trauma and EMDR

What is EMDR?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. In 1987, this method started by chance by Dr. Francine Shapiro discovering that eye movements can reduce the severity of annoying thoughts. In the therapy literature, EMDR considered as a “short term psychotherapy”.

How Does EMDR Work?

We record an average of 20 thousand memories per day. Under normal circumstances, memories are processed in the information processing system and stored in memory in order to properly shape our reactions in the future. When traumatic or very disturbing events occur, this system cannot operate as it should, and that moment remains as a separet network of memories. Emotions, thoughts, images, sounds, body sensations are stored separetly as they are experienced. In the future, this is experienced as if reliving some parts or all of the memory again and again when triggers are activated.

EMDR sends stimuli to the right and left hemispheres of the brain, allowing the reprocessing of memories that negatively affect the person. With the reprocessing of information with adaptive information, the person becomes insensitive to the traumatic or very disturbing event they experienced.

How is EMDR Therapy Applied?

In EMDR therapy, an 8-step, three-way (past, present, future) protocol is applied. The goal is to reconstitute past memories, to ensure desensitization, to treat the current symptoms, to demonstrate the behaviors driven by the new perspective developed by the client's positive beliefs and feelings in the face of similar problems in the future.

How Long Does EMDR Therapy Take?

EMDR is in the group of "short-term therapies". A subject that resolves in one session sometimes can take several sessions to solve. As with all therapy methods, the duration varies depending on the client and the subject.

Is It Possible to Forget Everything with EMDR?

EMDR does not desensitize the negative memories or traumas, but the negative emotions, thoughts and body sensations recorded about the memory.

For example; if the negative belief of the person who failed in the exam is “I am stupid” and there is a thought that “I cannot succeed” due to the exam they failed; after working with EMDR, the test memory that they failed is not deleted, but instead for that moment, the belief of “I can succeed” comes in.

What is the Difference Between EMDR and Hypnosis?

EMDR is a therapy that is applied at the conscious level. One is aware of "now and here". In hypnosis, the person is in state of trance.

EMDR's Working Areas:

  • Natural disasters
  • Major accidents
  • Lost and Mourning
  • Major traumas such as War, Harassment and Rape
  • Panic Disorder
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Depression
  • Disturbing Memories
  • Phobias
  • Pain Disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Stress Control
  • Addictions
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders
  • Sexual Dysfunctions
  • Self Confidence Problems
  • Negative Childhood Memories
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