No one ever sets out in life with the intention of experiencing something traumatic, however, that does not mean that they remain unscathed. Approximately 70% of all Americans experience at least one traumatic event in their lives. Traumatic events can include physical violence, sexual assault/rape, natural disasters, sudden loss of a loved one, neglect, abandonment, and many other troubling experiences. And while not every single person who survives trauma will find themselves grappling with the after-effects of it, many do. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) reports that 1 in 6 Americans will develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point in their lives. The physical, emotional, and mental repercussions created by a traumatic event can become all-consuming and dramatically change the course of one’s life. Even though trauma cannot always be prevented, PTSD and its lasting effects can be treated. Many trauma survivors receive benefits of EMDR therapy to help them overcome their past traumas and live a happier, healthier life.
What is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR therapy is a term that has been thrown around the mental health world quite heavily for the past few years and for good reason. EMDR therapy (short for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) has been proven to help treat the symptoms associated with PTSD, allowing for individuals to experience relief and clarity. While there is still a great deal to learn about EMDR therapy and exactly how it works, what is known is that it continues to help trauma survivors revisit their traumatic experiences in ways that allow them to heal.
EMDR therapy occurs between a therapist and a client in a one-on-one setting. With the use of moving lights, hand movements, or tapping, the therapist will ask the client to recall their traumatic event. They will ask them to focus on the emotional and physical responses they are experiencing during the recall. The therapist will help the client work through their responses and begin to help bring some sense and meaning to both the event and the responses to it. The therapist can pull from the responses the client experiences to delve deeper into the root cause of their pain. Individuals should participate in a handful of EMDR sessions at least but work with their therapist to determine how many sessions are best for them.
Benefits of EMDR Therapy
EMDR therapy has proven to be highly effective in treating PTSD and lingering symptoms related to trauma. When an individual participates in it, they stand to gain several benefits of EMDR therapy.
Adequately Process Trauma
When something traumatic is occurring, the brain sort of goes haywire. It becomes so overwhelmed and overstimulated that the actual event that is occurring is not properly processed. As a result, survivors of trauma can struggle with emotional pain that stems from the traumatic event for weeks, months, or even years. One of the greatest benefits of EMDR therapy is that it allows individuals to safely revisit their traumatic event in an effort to properly process what occurred. While working with a therapist, they can examine the traumatic event and be thoughtful about it rather than be inundated with it in the moment. This gives ample opportunity to rewrite the story so to speak.
Symptoms of PTSD can range from insomnia and night terrors to hypervigilance and panic. This specific mental health condition is extremely painful to live with, as it seeps into all areas of a person’s life. Of the many benefits of EMDR therapy, alleviating symptoms is one of them. Individuals who participate in EMDR therapy show reduced presence of these and other troubling symptoms, allowing them to start healing.
Develop Coping Skills
As with most therapies, EMDR therapy helps individuals establish coping skills that can see them through their recovery from PTSD. Therapists not only spend their time conducting EMDR therapy during each clients’ sessions, but they also work with them to bolster up their coping skills. One skill that is commonly learned in EMDR therapy is body scanning.
When feeling tense or overwhelmed by symptoms, individuals can utilize body scanning to get some relief. They can do this by sitting in a quiet, calm space and simply noticing where on their body they are feeling any pain or tension. Upon identifying the pain, they can utilize meditation skills to help bring both physical and emotional relief to themselves.
The benefits of EMDR therapy are endless, especially for those who give their all during their sessions.
EMDR Therapy in Tennessee
If you are struggling with the lasting impacts of trauma and need help, call us at Tennessee Valley Recovery right now. We understand that when trauma goes untreated, several consequences can develop, including substance use disorders. Allow us to help address both your unresolved trauma and your substance use disorder so that you can begin living the life you want.
If you are ready to get help, contact Tennessee Valley Recovery right now. One of our compassionate professionals will help answer any of your questions and guide you towards a new path. Do not wait. Call us today.