THERAPIES FOR TRAUMA

What is EMDR?

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapeutic approach that is supported by enormous amounts of research as being effective at reducing the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as alleviating symptoms from anxiety, depression, panic disorders, and generally stressful life experiences. In EMDR, we start off by identifying your goals in therapy and building up your coping skills for managing difficult emotions. We then create a treatment plan together to explore negative beliefs that you may have about yourself or about your life, and identify the positive things that you would rather believe to be true. Then we get to work.

EMDR involves bi-lateral stimulation (BLS), usually done by your therapist moving visual stimuli back and forth in your line of sight, or by you holding what are called “buzzies”, that vibrate in alternating hands. By repeating this BLS with gentle guidance from your therapist, your brain does the healing work that is sometimes difficult for you to comprehend.

Is EMDR right for you?

Some people are hesitant at first because the process of EMDR feels a bit weird, or like this is some kind of hypnosis (we assure you, it’s not!). You are always in control and aware of what is happening in these sessions. If any time you experience distress that is too much, you can stop. Many clients are drawn to EMDR because you can talk about things as little or as much as you’d like. Some clients prefer to engage in talk therapy with EMDR utilized here and there to accomplish specific goals. Some clients prefer to use only EMDR as they don’t want to verbally explore everything from their life, but still want reprieve from the symptoms they experience. We can achieve that with EMDR.

The eight stages of EMDR are to ensure that you are prepared to cope with any unwanted thoughts, images, emotions, or feelings that may occur. The use of EMDR has shown effectiveness in treating:

  • PTSD
  • Phobias
  • Depression
  • Panic and anxiety related diagnosis
  • Complicated grief
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Stress reduction
  • Body dysmorphic disorders
  • Sexual and/or physical abuse
  • Addictions, eating disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Disturbing memories

Another draw to EMDR is that most clients can complete therapy in fewer sessions than other psychotherapies.

The eight stages of EMDR are to ensure that you are prepared to cope with any unwanted thoughts, images, emotions, or feelings that may occur. The use of EMDR has shown effectiveness in treating:

  • PTSD
  • Phobias
  • Depression
  • Panic and anxiety related diagnosis
  • Complicated grief
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Stress reduction
  • Body dysmorphic disorders
  • Sexual and/or physical abuse
  • Addictions, eating disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Disturbing memories

Another draw to EMDR is that most clients can complete therapy in fewer sessions than other psychotherapies.

Brainspotting

Brainspotting is a new, yet very effective, therapy that targets core emotional pains, traumas, and stressors that create barriers to living full, healthy lives. By finding eye positions, or brainspots, with a therapist, one can more fully process distress by utilizing the body’s natural processing center: the brain. Through brainspotting, healing can happen more quickly, thoroughly, and permanently.

Typical experiences are eventually stored as long-term memories, but traumatic or distressing memories are not. Instead, they are trapped in what we refer to as trauma capsules. When a trauma memory is triggered (a trauma capsule is opened), it can hijack the body to the point it feels as if one is reliving that experience. Triggering experiences, then, often reinforce the pain of the initial distressing memory. This phenomenon is how neuro-pathways are developed. Therapy is traditionally effective in helping to recognize unhelpful neuro-pathways and develop new, healthy ones. Brainspotting takes this to a deeper level by directly accessing the part of the brain that holds onto the trauma capsules in order to process those experiences so they can be stored as long-term memories, thus deconstructing the negative neuro-pathway to allow for a more peaceful life.

CEDAR RAPIDS LOCATION

3412 Center Point Road NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

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TEL: (319) 382-8660
FAX: (319) 382-8693

HIAWATHA LOCATION

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Hiawatha, IA 52233

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