EMDR Therapy

More than half of the people in America suffer from at least one traumatic event in their lifetime. For many of these people, the effects of the trauma change them in ways that cause them to no longer resemble the person they were prior to the trauma. Thankfully, these individuals do not need to stay that way. Through the appropriate treatment, such as our EMDR therapy in Nashville, individuals can overcome the effects that one or more traumatic events have left on them and begin living a life that is free of the burden of trauma.

Effects of Trauma

When someone experiences one or more traumatic events, he or she is changed forever. While there are ways to treat trauma and make these changes less impactful, there are still several effects that can linger in response to trauma. For example, someone who has survived a traumatic event might have consistent intrusive thoughts about the event, poor memory, confusion, disorientation, and mood swings as a result of that event. Other effects that are common post-trauma include the following:

  • Avoidance of people, places, or things that remind the individual of the trauma
  • Isolation from friends, family, and loved ones
  • Increased startle reflex
  • High blood pressure
  • Easily agitated
  • Problems sleeping (e.g. insomnia)
  • Changes in eating patterns (e.g. eating too much or too little)
  • Constantly on the lookout
  • Feelings of shame and guilt
  • Detachment from others
  • Experiencing sudden, overwhelming fear
  • Anxiety and panic attacks

One of the biggest effects of trauma is that it has the power to cause someone to be intrigued by drug and/or alcohol abuse, as the symptoms of trauma can be extremely distressing. And, when someone begins abusing addictive substances to cope with these effects, everything within his or her life can become much more unmanageable and out of control. Thankfully, trauma can be treated, as can the disease of addiction. In many cases, both conditions are treated simultaneously, providing the most beneficial outcome for the client. One of the most popular and effective forms of treatment for someone who has suffered one or more traumas in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, also known as EMDR.

What is EMDR Therapy For Addiction?

EMDR is a type of psychotherapy that is designed to help people who have experienced trauma cope with it in a manner that allows them to heal.

In 1987, Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., developed EMDR to help reduce the effects of trauma in patients. Despite being around for over 30 years, EMDR is finally receiving the recognition it deserves, as it has proven its efficacy time and time again in those individuals who have experienced one or more traumatic events in their lives. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that EMDR (in conjunction with trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy), is the only therapy they recommend for people of all ages who suffer from PTSD.

The most identifying characteristic of EMDR is that clients are to follow a moving object, a set, or lights, or even a sound while recalling the traumatic memory. This is done because when a client’s attention is split, he or she has more ease in accessing the trauma, allowing for healing to occur. However, there is much more to an EMDR therapy in Nashville, Tennessee, as there are several phases of this particular therapy.

Phases of Our EMDR in Nashville

Whenever a client is attempting to work through trauma, he or she is bound to be faced with several different challenges, as trauma is something that deeply impacts the brain. Therefore, there are eight phases that a client will participate in so that he or she can effectively address the trauma. These phases are as follows:

  1. History taking – The therapist works with the client to gather information related to his or her background, as well as begins to develop key points in the client’s trauma to focus on during EMDR sessions.
  2. Preparation – During this phase, clients will learn more about EMDR and how it works, as well as develop grounding skills and state change skills that can help them navigate the process.
  3. Assessment – The therapist will ask the client what parts of his or her trauma he or she wants to address and then ask him or her to come up with an image and a positive and negative cognition, and then rate those cognitions on a scale from 1-7 with 7 being the truest.
  4. Desensitization – Desensitization occurs when those images and cognitions are processed alongside the traumatic event. It is during this phase that clients follow an object or light or listen to sounds. There is minimal (if any) discussion during this time, as the focus is for the client to recall feelings, images, memories, etc. surrounding the event.
  5. Installation – After recalling the trauma, the therapist will ask the client if his or her positive cognition has changed on the scale. The process of working through the trauma using our EMDR therapy in Nashville, TN will continue until that positive cognition reaches a 7 on the scale.
  6. Body scan – Once the positive cognition is validated, the therapist will have the client do a body scan, identifying what areas in his or her body are experiencing sensations. If there are still body sensations occurring, the EMDR session will continue until they have cleared.
  7. Closure – Depending on the details of the session, therapists will have clients wrap up the process by accessing their “safe place” (which has been determined prior to the sessions) and work to place all unfinished work in a metaphorical box where it can stay until the next session occurs.
  8. Reevaluation – The therapist will, at the top of the next session, reevaluate what was worked on in the previous sessions and continue on with further treatment.

Benefits of JourneyPure’s EMDR Therapy in Nashville, TN

At first glance, our EMDR therapy in Nashville, Tennessee might seem too overwhelming for someone who has experienced trauma and who is still continuing to suffer from the effects of it. And while this process can be difficult, the end result is extremely rewarding. Some of the greatest benefits associated with EMDR include the following:

  • Being able to discuss the trauma without being overly emotional or too upset to talk about it
  • No longer experiencing powerful, disruptive emotions regarding the traumatic event
  • Gaining mental clarity regarding the event, how it occurred, and what the after-effects were
  • Reducing symptoms related to anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders

Above all else, clients who participate in our EMDR in Nashville benefit the most from having their lives alleviated of the weight of trauma. When this occurs, the possibilities are endless.

Do You Need Help?

If you are struggling with the effects of trauma, do not wait any longer to reach out for the help you deserve. Contact our Nashville EMDR therapy program right now.