What to Expect from EMDR Therapy

What to Expect from EMDR Therapy

What to Expect from EMDR Therapy

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a premier treatment choice for trauma-induced problems. Though this treatment option is typically applied in people with PTSD, it can also benefit people suffering from depression, anxiety, and other types of psychological distress. Unfortunately, not knowing what to expect from EMDR therapy in Orlando can cause feelings of tension, apprehension, and nervousness. Luckily, learning a bit of what to expect from EMDR treatment will help ease your anxiety. Here is everything you need to know.

Your first session

Though every EMDR session is unique, your first session will always include a discussion about your history and plan for treatment. This usually includes:

Getting to know your provider

If you aren’t already familiar with your therapist, you will spend a little time learning about them. Do not hesitate to ask about their experience with EMDR therapy. Pay attention to their personality and be certain you feel comfortable talking to them. It is essential to the process that you feel safe discussing troubling memories with them. If you don’t, you will want to find a therapist you feel safe with.

Discussing your childhood

EMDR’s first phase is history taking. Here you will talk to your therapist about your siblings, parents, family home, and other elements of your childhood. They may also ask about your emotional wellbeing in youth and whether you felt alone, afraid, happy, or sad. This can be somewhat uncomfortable initially, primarily if you have not worked with the therapist in the past, but you will become more acquainted with them over time and get used to them and the process.

Talking about negative beliefs

Your therapy provider needs to be aware of any negative beliefs you accept as truth to prepare a treatment plan for you. Be honest and open with them. You have to discuss these beliefs before your therapist can help you fight them effectively.

Discussing distressing memories, emotions, events, and issues

Be ready to talk about disturbing memories, emotions, circumstances, problems, and occurrences with your therapist. This discussion should include present difficulties and past challenges.

Your first desensitization treatment

Once your history has been gathered successfully, your therapy provider will prepare you for desensitization by teaching you various techniques for relaxation. This is the preparation phase of treatment. Once you feel comfortable using the different stress-relief coping methods, you will be ready for desensitization. Here is what to expect:

Revisiting trauma

Your therapist will lead you to think about a disturbing time in your life to train your brain to reprocess traumatic memories. It is vital to focus on the memory for EMDR to be effective, even if you feel traumatized repeatedly. Use the techniques you practiced for relaxation and take deep breaths.

Follow the light

Most patients feel awkward gazing at the moving light. Do not let that get in your way. Stay focused on the operation and follow the light from left to right, back and forth. This is a proven and effective process.

Discuss your feelings

Your therapist will stop the light periodically to talk about your feelings. They will guide you with questions about how you are feeling psychologically, emotionally, and physically. Just do your best, even if you have trouble detailing everything.

Feeling tension afterward

EMDR is not always a pleasant process. Recalling disturbing, traumatic memories can leave you with tension long after the end of the session. These feelings are normal. Be open with your provider about your emotions and trust that you will feel more at ease and experience less tension in time.

This is an overview of what to expect from EMDR therapy in Orlando. Contact us today to start your journey to healing.

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Heather Oller

Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.