Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, also known as EMDR, is a therapeutic technique used by counselors and therapists to address pain, grief, and emotional wounds caused by negative life events. Many people – especially children and teens – never properly process abuse, neglect, or other physical and emotional traumas. Far too often, this leads to compulsions and negative behaviors in adulthood that activate ‘feel-good’ chemicals in the brain to compensate for an emotional pain. Instead of continuing to self-medicate with addictive behavior, EMDR teaches past trauma victims to recall traumatic life experiences and for an association between those memories and some type of bodily reaction, such as eye movement.
Did you know…
that the eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is endorsed by the American Psychiatric Association? This type of therapy has be shown effective for ‘reprocessing’ traumatic events that happened in the past, yet continue to cause negative emotions and subsequent actions today. With EMDR, some clients learn how to identify emotional wounds and the actions they use to medicate them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Could I benefit from eye movement desensitization and reprocessing?
EMDR is not for everyone but is very powerful in the lives of some sex addicts whose negative compulsions stem from past events. If you are struggling with sexual addictions, there could be a relationship between negative actions and a past life experience – whether you are aware of it or not. Contact your sex therapist for more information about EMDR and to find out if it could be right for you.
What should I expect during EMDR sessions?
The average EMDR session lasts up to 90 minutes. During this session, you’ll watch as your therapist quickly moves his or her fingers in various motions close to your face. As you are following your therapist’s fingers with your eyes, you’ll be asked to recall a memory of a past traumatic event and the emotions or pain you felt when it happened. You’ll slowly begin to think of happier thoughts – all the while still following your therapist’s fingers with your eyes.
What types of results can I expect from EMDR?
EMDR is not effective for everyone, but for those who do achieve results, it is not uncommon to experience a reduction in the strong emotions associated with past traumas. Dampened emotions can influence the power of addiction in your life. If you suffer from other symptoms of past traumas, such as panic attacks and eating disorders, EMDR may help with those too.