What can an EMDR therapist help with? EMDR
which stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a psychotherapy technique used to relieve the distress associated with disturbing memories. It was initially applied to people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
, who experience intrusive memories that overwhelm their capacity to cope. EMDR is now used in the treatment of many other conditions, such as anxiety disorders, including panic and phobias; depression; dissociative disorder; eating disorders; obsessive-compulsive disorders; and some personality disorders.
Who is a qualified EMDR therapist? A qualified EMDR therapist is a licensed mental health professional who has undergone training in the use of EMDR. Many therapists have sought certification in the use of EMDR, but certification is not a requirement for practicing the technique.
How do therapists use EMDR? Therapists use EMDR as a way to relieve the psychological pain of distressing memories. In EMDR, individuals are asked to bring to mind a specific troublesome experience as they track with their eyes a side-to-side visual stimulus delivered by the therapist. Once the emotional sting of the memory is reduced by the lateral eye movements, the traumatic experience can then be discussed with the therapist and processed by the individual so that it no longer has the power to trigger anxiety and avoidance.
How do I recognize a good EMDR therapist? A good EMDR therapist is a licensed mental health professional who has undergone specific training in the EMDR technique; some therapists take the extra step of being certified to use EMDR. As with any form of therapy, it is important to seek a therapist with whom it is possible to establish clarity of communication and a sense of good fit. And because experience counts, it is advisable to seek a therapist who has had experience using EMDR for problems such as yours. Additionally, because EMDR is just one tool, it is wise to find a therapist who is skilled in many other therapy techniques and can call on them as needed.