It can take weeks, months, or years to get past the mental health issues caused by a traumatic event. However, you may be able to relieve nightmares, panic attacks, or other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by engaging in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. Let’s take a closer look at the potential benefits of EMDR, and how it can be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment to help improve your quality of life.
EMDR therapy consists of eight stages designed to target specific memories and change how they are stored in the brain. A standard round of therapy consists of two sessions a week for about six weeks. However, some patients may see positive results in as little as two or three sessions. During each session, you’ll be exposed to bilateral stimulation (BLS) through eye movements and tonal sounds, such as taps or beeping noises.
Primarily, EMDR is used to treat those who are suffering from PTSD. However, it can also help those with anxiety unrelated to a specific event. For instance, those who are nervous about driving on the highway may see positive results after spending time with a therapist. You may also be able to use this type of therapy to end compulsive gambling, eating, or other actions. It can also be used to relieve chronic back or joint pain temporarily.
Several therapies can be used with EMDR to obtain positive results. In many cases, those who make use of EMDR will also engage in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in an effort to help them minimize negative thoughts and the issues that they may cause. Journaling, yoga, and other exercises that encourage positive thinking may also help you manage or overcome your mental health issues.
One of the key benefits, when used on its own or in conjunction with CBT or other therapies, is that it may help to expedite the healing process. It may be ideal for those reluctant to share their experiences. This is because you only have to identify specific memories and talk about how you feel when exposed to various stimuli.
Regardless of the type of treatment a person receives, ensuring it is tailored to that individual’s needs is essential. For instance, just because one of the key benefits is the ability to get help without having to talk a lot doesn’t mean that a patient should be encouraged to avoid the reality of their situation.
Instead, it may be a good idea to use EMDR as a method of helping a person get to the point where they are willing to talk in an individual or group setting. From there, CBT or prolonged exposure (PE) therapy may help a person better understand and appreciate the connection between thoughts and actions.
It’s also worth noting that both CBT and EMDR therapy focuses on the body and the mind. Therefore, it may be best to use these therapies in conjunction to help individuals who may struggle to sleep or eat because of the stress caused by their mental anguish.
If you are struggling to overcome a traumatic event, it may be in your best interest to begin EMDR or CBT treatment immediately. The folks at Mind Body Wellness in Franklin, TN, may be able to help you learn more about the potential benefits of EMDR such as the ability to manage or overcome symptoms of PTSD in a matter of days or weeks.