EMDR Therapy Sydney
Do you struggle from being overwhelmed by past experiences? Do you avoid certain things to reduce being triggered by past negative experiences?
How can it help?
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) is a psychotherapy technique designed to relieve the distress associated with disturbing memories.
EMDR involves recalling a specific experience or memory while following a side-to-side visual stimulus delivered by the therapist. The resulting lateral eye movements are thought to help reduce the emotional charge of the memory so that the experience can be safely discussed and defuse the power that has previously been attached to the experience, which can then lead to anxiety, avoidance, and unhealthy coping strategies.
EMDR is based on Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model and is said to directly target how a distressing memory is stored in the brain. The theory is that past disturbing experiences continue to cause distress because they were not adequately processed. When memories are triggered in the present, they contain all the same emotions, thoughts, and physical sensations as the initial experience.
To engage in EMDR therapy, you must be able to tolerate some emotional discomfort and not shut down or become too easily overwhelmed by feelings. You must be able to call on cognitive and emotional resources to reprocess your memories successfully.
What to expect?
The therapist helps you decide which past experience will be the subject of treatment. The therapist then activates a the memory by asking you to visualise or experience thoughts, feelings, or body sensations related to the event.
Once a memory is activated, standard protocol calls for the therapist to assess the level of negative feelings and thoughts regarding the event and positive beliefs about oneself you wish to strengthen and then administer the bilateral visual stimulation.
Please be mindful you will experience some level of emotional and physical discomfort while recalling distressing memories. As new feelings and thoughts emerge and are discussed throughout the procedure, the therapist samples the level and nature of emotional and cognitive distress and any somatic distress. Sessions end when you feel calm, with instructions provided on handling disturbing thoughts and feelings between sessions. Subsequent sessions always begin with an assessment of memories that may have emerged since the previous treatment.