EMDR Therapy: How Can It Help Me?

Welcome! You’re probably reading this article because you’ve made the decision to start therapy, which is a huge step forward for your mental health. Or, maybe you haven’t quite decided to start, but you’re researching options, looking into what types of therapy may be best for you and what exactly they entail. 

At Traini Counseling Group, we’re pleased to now offer eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, also known as EMDR therapy. In this blog post, we’ll cover the basics of EMDR therapy, what it involves and who it best benefits. 

What is EMDR Therapy?

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a psychotherapy technique and treatment option most often used with people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD,) anxiety, panic, or trauma. This highly reputable and effective therapy provides a safe way for people to reconnect with thoughts, images, emotions, and body sensations associated with their trauma. This in turn allows the brain to naturally “heal” and move toward adaptive resolutions. 

EMDR therapy uses bilateral stimulation, like eye movements, taps or tones, to help you focus on the physical sensations while at the same time noticing any feelings, thoughts, emotions or memories that come to mind when thinking about your trauma. This helps the brain actually process distressing memories rather than stay “stuck” in the trauma, eventually helping you heal from painful past events, anxieties or thoughts.

What Does EMDR Therapy Involve?

EMDR therapy consists of eight phases. These are:

Journaling, EMDR Therapy, Flint, MI
  • History-taking sessions where you and your therapist develop a treatment plan, discuss what traumatic events or traumatic memories you wish to target and what skills and behaviors you’ll learn to develop. 
  • Client preparation sessions, where you’ll be taught stress relief techniques to use during and between sessions.
  • Assessment, desensitization, installation, and body scan. This is the core of EMDR therapy, where you’ll practice the therapy by focusing on vivid images related to your traumatic experience, negative beliefs about yourself and any emotions or bodily sensations you are feeling during the assessments. This is where the bilateral stimulation is used and you focus on establishing positive thoughts.
  • Closure. You’ll be asked to keep a journal for a week, documenting any time you feel trauma, anxieties or panic arise, and what positive beliefs and other coping mechanisms you used to effectively calm yourself.
  • The last reevaluation phase assesses the progress you have made so far and what past, present and future situations may continue to cause you stress or trauma. 

Who Can Benefit from EMDR Therapy?

Anyone can participate and learn from EMDR therapy, but those who can particularly benefit from EMDR are those who suffer from PTSD, mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression, substance abuse and any other traumas. 

Those who have lived through such distressing life experiences such as sexual abuse or rape, combat trauma, childhood trauma, and/or life-threatening situations in particular can gain health, happiness and insight through EMDR therapy.

Where Can I Find an EMDR Therapist?

At Traini Counseling Group, we offer EMDR therapy with Yasmin Al-Traini, LCSW and Shanel Clum, LLMSW. Both are exceptional licensed therapists specializing in EMDR therapy who happily serve the community of Flint, MI and Genesee County. To contact us and set up an appointment, please click here. If you’d like to learn more about EMDR therapy, visit the official EMDR website here.