EMDR at Elliott Counseling Group
Elliott Counseling Group has expanded to offer an integrative psychotherapy approach called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy, proven to be effective for healing trauma. Fourteen therapists at Elliott Counseling Group completed specialized EMDR training. We are now providing this service to both child and adult clients as a new therapeutic modality.
Elliott Counseling Group decided to invest in this training recognizing that the root cause for people seeking therapy is often an underlying trauma. EMDR is often more effective and has quicker effects than traditional talk therapy alone.
EMDR Therapy takes place in a normal office setting. It uses eye movement to mimic REM sleep while processing memories. Those who utilize EMDR still have memories of the traumatic events, but are less distressed by them.
This treatment can benefit those facing many different mental health concerns. Primary targets can be: chronic anxiety, PTSD and phobia. It is used to treat acute stress from experiencing or witnessing one-time traumatic events such as car accidents, burglaries, assaults and is also effective for processing trauma from adverse life experiences as a child or adult.
There is extensive research validating its effectiveness as an evidence based practice and it has helped over two million people relieve many types of psychological distress, yet it has not been widely available because of the extensive specialized training required. The development of the therapy is also interesting as it began with using the eyes in bilateral movement and has evolved to sounds heard with the ears; pulses felt in the hands – or other bilateral movements that stimulate both sides of the brain.
EMDR Therapy FAQ
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is an evidence-based therapeutic modality that uses dual attention stimulation of the brain, such as eye movements which are thought to mimic REM sleep, to reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts. It can also be done with auditory (headphones) or tactile (tapping on knees or buzzers held in hands) methods. EMDR Therapy has been shown to be effective for trauma from adverse life experiences, anxiety, panic attacks, addictions, complicated grief, phobias, body dysmorphic disorders, eating disorders, pain disorders and more. It is also highly effective for acute trauma such as car accidents, burglaries, assaults, etc.
EMDR seems to allow the brain to process information from memories that feel stuck and distressing. The processing through EMDR can stop the person from reliving the images, sounds, and feelings associated with the memories. The person still has the memories and is not distressed by them in the same way.
The EMDR trained therapist will assist the client in identifying target memories, resources, and beliefs. The therapist will facilitate the directional movement of the eyes or other dual attention stimulation (auditory or tactile) while the client focuses on the disturbing material and just notices whatever comes to mind. Sets of eye movements are continued, with cognitive interweaves facilitated by the therapist, until the memory becomes less disturbing and is associated with positive beliefs about one’s self to replace the negative beliefs. Most people experience a significant reduction in the level of disturbance.
It’s difficult to estimate the number of sessions EMDR Therapy will take for each person due to the individual factors involved with each situation. However, it has been shown to decrease the time a person spends in therapy overall. The client can meet with the EMDR trained therapist for one session to discuss their situation and determine if EMDR Therapy is recommended as a treatment for them.
EMDR Therapy can be used for any age and developmental ability. We have therapists who facilitate EMDR with children, adolescents, and adults.
FAQs FOR NON-EMDR THERAPISTS
When should I refer my clients for EMDR Therapy?
If you have a client who has identified any type of trauma, is experiencing significant distress related to those memories, and talk-based therapies aren’t appearing to be fully effective, then that client might benefit from EMDR. It is helpful if the client has already developed some grounding and relaxation strategies.
Will I continue to see my client?
That depends. If your client has ongoing therapeutic needs that require weekly therapy, then it may be recommended for them to continue to see you. The supplemental EMDR therapy will not replace that treatment, but be focused on processing the traumatic material. In addition, because the processing of the material may continue following the EMDR session, additional symptoms can surface. Therefore, the client may benefit from continued support from their primary therapist. However, some clients benefit sufficiently from the EMDR therapy without additional individual therapy. It will be important to discuss this process and develop a plan with your client.