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There are a wide variety of approaches to therapy for the treatment of common psychological conditions such as anxiety or obsessive thoughts, but sometimes conventional approaches might leave you feeling stuck with your symptoms. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, is a different kind of therapy process that may be able to help.
Often, mental health therapy techniques utilize a top-down approach, meaning the therapist focuses on the mind first. Although the methods used to achieve this goal can be effective for some, everyone is unique and sometimes trying alternative forms of therapy can be more effective.
Unlike conventional methods of therapy like CBT and DBT, Somatic Attachment Focused EMDR is a bottom-up approach, meaning it focuses on the impacts of anxiety (or other negative emotions) in the body first, eventually changing thoughts in the mind. This can be very effective when compared to other approaches because of the way our brain works.
While the memory center lies in our brain, the impacts of traumatic experiences and stress can be held in various parts of our body. When we recall a troubling memory, we can often feel it in various parts of our body (such as our stomach, chest, or gut).
Additionally, we often experience “somatic” (physical) symptoms as a result of anxiety, such as when we feel the effects of anxiety in our body like head or stomach aches, hot or cold sensations, digestion problems, chest pain, or a general ill feeling.
If you suffer from obsessive thoughts, anxiety, significant stress, or traumatic experiences, EMDR could be an effective method of getting you back to the serenity and comfort you seek.
During the EMDR process, the therapist may ask you to recall a memory and notice any sensations, tension, emotions, or images that come up. The therapist will begin the reprocessing phase by utilizing Bilateral Stimulation. This involves eye movements led by the therapist or tapping the legs or arms, led by the client.
The therapist will guide you through the whole process and continue to check in with you regarding your level of distress. Your therapist will be able to bring out resources to help you if you feel stuck or the level of discomfort becomes too high.
EMDR is evidence-based, meaning research has shown positive results that the EMDR process rapidly reduces negative emotions associated with disturbing mental images and somatic symptoms in the body. If you are unable to identify a particular distressing memory, EMDR can still be used. Even imaging hypothetical distressing situations and applying EMDR can be enough to yield relief from distress. In turn, this allows you to face the world with decreased anxiety, trauma responses, or obsessions.
Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Lauren Rodgers has training in Somatic Attachment Focused EMDR therapy. If conventional therapy techniques haven’t worked for you, contact us to discuss the EMDR process. Lauren Rodgers will work with you at a safe and comfortable pace on your journey to healing. Schedule a free consultation today.
Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor
MA, LCAS, LCMHC, CMHIMP, CCATP
As a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor I am eager to assist you in your path to self-discovery. I’ve received specialized training as a Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional (CCATP) as well as a Mental Health Integrative Medicine Provider (CMHIMP).
I have a passion for helping women who struggle with anxiety and codependency, find peace and self-love. I provide individual therapy for teenagers (14+), millennials, college students, and adults. Let’s discuss your goals during your free consultation.
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