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Dealing with post traumatic stress disorder can be very challenging especially for a person that never encountered such an issue. But there are multiple ways to counteract the effects of PTSD, and it all comes down to finding the right one for your particular situation. Multiple organizations consider eye movement desensitization reprocessing to be one of the best options when it comes to treating PTSD. Some of these organizations include the American Psychiatric Association and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.


How can you identify the need for EDMR treatments?

Usually eye movement desensitization reprocessing is used for people that were diagnosed with PTSD, be it in a beginner or advanced state. PTSD appears in the case of people that had severe traumas like active military service, physical assault, the sudden death of a person they love and so on. When it comes to the PTSD symptoms, these are nightmares, flashbacks, constantly thinking about the traumatic event (or avoiding it completely), angry outbursts and sleeping issues.

How does the eye movement desensitization reprocessing therapy work?

EMDR is using the own rhythmic eye movements of the patient as they become a distraction from the traumatic events. They are repressing all the negative thoughts naturally and transform those into pleasant ones.  The reason why eye movement desensitization reprocessing is very helpful is it allows the patient to revisit that event while also being fully focused on the therapist finger movements. What this does is it makes it easier to process all those distressing flashbacks and memories properly. Their influence on a patient’s mind is reduced, and that means the person can move on with their life. It’s a very comprehensive system that has the potential to change a person’s life if it’s done properly. 


One of the main reasons why eye movement desensitization reprocessing works so great is that memories are becoming more distant and less vivid with this treatment. If a patient makes eye movements during the recall, that will compete with the mental recollection process, and that means the memory is less intense. So even if it’s recalled again, you will not be affected by it that much. And the more you use EMDR treatments, the harder it will be to focus on these memories and relive them. Which is great, because you have more focus on eliminating these events from your life.

What are the steps to complete an EDMR therapy?

The eye movement desensitization reprocessing therapy consists out of 8 different phases. The first one is history taking, where the therapist and client are working to identify treatment targets. The second phase involves preparing the client and practicing eye movement desensitization reprocessing as well as various BLS components.

Then there’s assessing the target memory, with phases 4-7 being focused on processing the memory to adaptive resolution. And once the treatment is completed, the mental health practitioner will be able to evaluate all the treatment results naturally and with great success. 

How much time will the treatment require? That depends on a multitude of factors. It can be completed in a session, but it might be completed in 3 sessions depending on the patient. Severe cases might take up to 3-4 sessions, maybe even more at times. 

evere cases might take up to 3-4 sessions, maybe even more at times. 

Does EMDR fully eliminate any PTSD problems?

A great advantage brought by eye movement desensitization reprocessing is that it tackles the future as well as the past. If you are in a very emotional state you can still remember some of the traumatic effects. But if you continue with the eye movement desensitization reprocessing treatment, at some point all these problems will go away. Which is why you have to eliminate these the best way that you can.


What you have to keep in mind is that no treatment will fully solve the problem. There will be challenges along the way, but with the right treatment and a good professional to help you will be able to overcome that. You just need to find the right mental health practitioner that will guide you during the entire process. Joining EMDR workshops might be able to help you with that too.

Using eye movement desensitization reprocessing to treat PTSD symptoms is very helpful and it works. Every patient’s situation is different, so the mental health practitioner will have to use a different approach for every factor, However EMDR has the potential to work very well and if you use it wisely results can be second to none. There can be some remission at times, in which case you will have to go through the eye movement desensitization reprocessing process again a few times.

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