EMDR, the best therapy to overcome post-traumatic stress disorder

EMDR is one of the most effective psychological treatments to treat anxiety problems.  They are the acronym for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing because their basis is precisely eye movement and its effects on traumatic or conflicting memories.

Although this EMDR therapy arose in response to post-traumatic stress disorders, its effectiveness has also been proven for cases of generalized anxiety, social phobia or even addictions. We present EMDR, one of the best treatments for anxiety.

What is EMDR?

It was in 1987 when the American psychologist observed that certain eye movements  could reduce anxiety and nervousness. She created a working group with veterans of the Vietnam War and with people who had been victims of sexual abuse. The results were strong in terms of improvement, but until then, EMDR had focused solely on post-traumatic stress disorder.

It would be later when this type of psychotherapy would be applied to other anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobias or social phobia, in addition to also being very effective in cases of mourning for the death of loved ones and for certain personality disorders. The secret of EMDR is that it is possible to isolate the trauma or worry in the mind, and then process it until it becomes an experience with which we can live, eliminating all the negative letter of anxiety and anguish.

Obviously it is a therapy that we cannot do on our own, but we must put ourselves in the hands of an expert psychologist in EMDR. One of the advantages of this psychotherapy is that it is usually much shorter than other psychological treatments. Normally 10 sessions  will suffice, although logically it will depend on how deeply rooted the traumatic experience is in our mind.

What is an EMDR session like?

An EMDR therapy begins with the psychologist asking about the specific trauma. To help identify the problem and strip him of all the negative charge of memories, the psychologist stimulates the person visually, that is, by telling him to move his eyes in a certain way. Although the stimulation can also be auditory, listening to sounds alternately in each ear or kinesthetic, with soft touches on the hands or shoulders. All this stimulation that it achieves is to reduce the emotional weight of the memories.

The following steps after this stimulation are the ones that are most similar to other psychological therapies, since they are aimed at transforming negative thoughts that cause anxiety. In the case of post-traumatic stress disorder, the aim is not to forget the trauma, but to learn to live with it. In any case, we take note of EMDR as one more treatment to consider in our fight against anxiety.

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