Have your heard of the new and exciting technique that is revolutionizing the field of counseling in Indianapolis and around the world? Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing, better known as EMDR, is a psychotherapy approach that allows people to recover from symptoms of emotional trauma that results from troubling or difficult life experiences. Since EMDR is producing such great results within research and clinical application the following paragraphs will highlight some of the amazing benefits EMDR offers! Let’s begin with some brief history of EMDR therapy.

EMDR is a form of psychotherapy developed and studied by Francine Shapiro (Shapiro, Francine, April 1989). As the story goes, EMDR was discovered in 1987 through a complete happenstance. During a walk in a park, Dr. Shapiro noticed that her eyes moved rapidly when she was thinking about disturbing memories. Consequently, when she brought her eye movements under control while thinking, the thoughts were less distressing. A graduate student at the time, Dr. Shapiro began to research her finding and the rest is history!

Today, EMDR is increasingly becoming a popular and commercial form of counseling to address psychological and emotional distress. There is a lot of confusion about EMDR and some people mistake it for hypnosis due to its unconventional methods. However, few understand the many wonderful benefits EMDR can have in treating PTSD, substance use, and so much more! This is because EMDR is based on the theory of Adaptive Information Processing (AIP), a model describing the brain’s natural drive toward emotional health.

The Effective & Quick Results of EMDR Therapy

For starters, EMDR utilizes Bilateral Stimulation (BLS). In other words, the stimulation of the senses (eye movements, auditory, or tactile) to activate both left and right hemispheres of the brain while thinking of the disturbing incident, which allows the adaptive information system to process the disturbing event. Tapping into this neurobiology of healing allows for efficient and relatively quick positive results, as compared to other traditional psychotherapy models, which can take several months, even years, to begin to see results.

EMDR Therapy and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

EMDR Therapy has been validated as an effective treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder as evidenced by controlled clinical research studies. In many studies, EMDR has demonstrated effectiveness with resolving negative memories that create challenges and roadblocks in a person’s daily life. With EMDR, negative memories can be uprooted and reprocessed so that they no longer have such a negative effect on your personal and professional life (Dean, G., Nov. 2017).

EMDR Therapy and Phobias

Additional benefits of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) has been demonstrated in peer-reviewed clinical trials with its effectiveness in treating some phobias. With phobias, a person may feel intense distress when faced with the source and/or a reminder of their phobia. Unfortunately, this can prevent them from functioning normally and living fulfilling lives. EMDR has been demonstrated as effective in easing phobia symptoms following a specific trauma, such as a fear of dogs following a dog bite (De Jongh, A et al., 1999).

EMDR Therapy and Addiction and Substance Use

People struggling with addiction and substance use is another population that could benefit from EMDR Therapy. An individual may not be able to deal with an emotional response to complex trauma and unwittingly turns to drugs as an unhealthy coping skill. The benefit of EDMR therapy in addiction recovery is that it has been proven to reprocess thoughts and behavior patterns that lead to substance abuse.

Essentially No Negative Side Effects with EMDR Therapy

As we can see, EMDR is a very versatile and effective therapy that can stand alone and be easily integrated into other forms of therapy, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and other traditional “talk therapies.” It is important to note that side effects are a major concern for those seeking treatment. Despite many studies of this form of therapy, there are no negative EMDR therapy side effects shown.

Make an Appointment with Skelton Neurocounseling, LLC

If you are curious to learn more about EMDR Therapy or if you would like to give it a try yourself, come visit Skelton Neurocounseling, LLC at our office in Indianapolis today. If you would like to set up an appointment, please feel free to contact Mark Skelton, EMDR, LMHCA, or fill out this form and we will follow up within 24-48 hours.

Dean, G. (Nov. 2017). 3 Proven Ways To Release Your Money Blocks. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/gingerdean/2017/11/30/3-proven-ways-to-release-your-money-blocks/
De Jongh, A; Ten Broeke, E; Renssen, M R. (1999). “Treatment of specific phobias with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): protocol, empirical status, and conceptual issues”. Journal of anxiety disorders. 13 (1–2): 69–85. doi:10.1016/S0887-6185(98)00040-1. PMID 10225501.
Shapiro, Francine (April 1989). “Efficacy of the eye movement desensitization procedure in the treatment of traumatic memories”. Journal of Traumatic Stress. 2 (2): 199–223. doi:10.1002/jts.2490020207.
Marquis, P., & Sprowls, C. (2016). EMDR therapy and hoarding: The hoarding protocol. In Marilyn Luber (19 August 2015). Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy Scripted Protocols and Summary Sheets: Treating Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive, and Mood-Related Conditions. Springer Publishing Company. pp. 171–200. ISBN 978-0-8261-3168-3.