Mandy Kloppers

Reframing Trauma: The Healing Effects of EMDR Therapy


Traumatic events can have severe, long-lasting effects on people. Several strategies are available to help people deal with past traumas, but not all of them are effective for everyone. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy has shown a great deal of promise in this field, though. Its ability to help reduce the long-term negative effects of trauma have been proven. Because of that, it has become a widely used treatment for trauma victims.

What Is EMDR Therapy, and How Does It Work?

EMDR therapy is an eight-phase process that addresses traumatic memories. It targets the thought processes that trigger trauma-related symptoms and reactions in people. One of the key components of emdr therapy in orange county is bilateral stimulation. This is essentially a strategy of making both halves of the brain work together to help people process traumatic memories and respond to them more effectively.

Bilateral stimulation can be achieved by watching a therapist’s fingers, watching a ball bounce, or listening to sounds. These stimuli move from one side of the body to the other. That encourages people to focus their eyes and minds on more than the memories of their trauma. It helps people process trauma in a more positive way than they may have been before therapy. EMDR therapy aids in trauma recovery in several ways.

Processing Traumatic Memories

Traumatic experiences can have profound effects on people. Memories of those experiences often cause people to develop tunnel vision in a sense. They may struggle to focus on anything other than their trauma. In many cases, those events can lead to severe negative reactions due to certain environmental triggers as well. EMDR helps people to process their memories of traumatic experiences in more positive and healthy ways. As a result, it lessens their effects.

Creating Dual Attention

Bilateral stimulation used in EMDR creates a state of dual attention. That means a person is able to focus on a traumatic memory while simultaneously focusing on a mundane, harmless element. In turn, the person can revisit the traumatic experience in a safer, more controlled environment without being overcome by memories of the event.

Fostering Emotional Regulation

EMDR also helps people regulate emotions related to traumatic experiences. It addresses negative thoughts and emotions that are associated with trauma. That helps people develop healthier coping mechanisms and respond to their trauma in less debilitating ways. In doing so, it allows them to manage the lingering effects of those experiences.

Desensitization to Triggers

By creating a state of dual attention, EMDR can help desensitize people to triggers that instigate responses to their traumatic memories. They’re able to dissociate the emotional effects of those memories and the triggers that evoke responses. That makes them more capable of coping with their experiences.

Finding Resolution

Additionally, EMDR can help people find resolution for their traumatic experiences. It helps them to process traumatic memories in more effective ways and may allow them to gain a better understanding of their experiences. Many find that they’re able to move on with their lives after this type of therapy. It often works more quickly than certain other therapies as well.

Finding Healing through EMDR Therapy

Traumatic experiences can have serious negative effects. Though there are several strategies for treating trauma, EMDR therapy is one of the most effective. It changes the way people respond to their memories of traumatic events and gives them healthier ways of dealing with the aftermath of those experiences. It can even help people find resolution so they can move on with their lives.