What is EMDR Trauma Therapy and How Does it Impact the Brain?

What is EMDR Trauma Therapy and How Does it Impact the Brain?

What is EMDR Trauma Therapy and How Does it Impact the Brain?

EMDR trauma therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a type of psychotherapy that is designed to help people suffering from traumatic memories. This therapy approach works to heal the emotional distress that traumatic events can cause, by helping people process their experiences in a healthy way. But how does this type of therapy affect our brains? Let’s take a look.

How EMDR Affects the Brain

First, it's important to understand that trauma can be stored in the brain differently than other kinds of memories. It is believed that traumatic memories are stored in an area of the brain called the amygdala, which triggers responses like fear, anxiety, and panic. In order to help heal these types of memories, EMDR uses bilateral stimulation (eye movements or taps) while clients focus on a particular memory or event. This helps to “unblock” certain neural pathways in the brain and allows for more balanced thinking patterns to emerge.

One study conducted at Harvard Medical School found that individuals who received EMDR treatment showed decreased activity in their amygdala when they were exposed to stimuli related to their trauma. This suggests that EMDR may be effective in reducing emotional reactivity associated with past traumas. Additionally, some research has shown an increase in grey matter density after receiving EMDR treatment—which could mean improved cognitive functioning and better emotion regulation skills.

The Benefits of EMDR Trauma Therapy

EMDR has been proven effective for treating many different types of trauma, such as PTSD, anxiety disorders, grief and loss issues, phobias, etc. It can also be used to treat physical ailments such as chronic pain or headaches caused by unresolved trauma or stressors from childhood or adulthood experiences. The goal of this type of therapy is to help clients process their experiences in a healthy way so they can move forward without being weighed down by painful emotions or physical sensations associated with past traumas or stressors.

EMDR trauma therapy offers numerous benefits for those struggling with emotional distress due to past traumas or stressful events. It works by stimulating neural pathways in the brain so they become unblocked and more balanced thinking patterns can emerge. Research shows that this kind of therapy may reduce emotional reactivity associated with past traumas as well as improve cognitive functioning and emotion regulation skills over time. If you think you may benefit from EMDR trauma therapy services, contact Orlando Thrive Therapy today! Our team is here for you every step of your journey towards healing and growth!

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Heather Oller

Heather Oller is the owner and founder of Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching, and Counseling. She is a licensed counselor and a family mediator who has over 23 years of dedicated work as a professional in the mental health field. Through her company's mission, she continues to pave the way for future therapists, and their clients, who want a higher quality of life....and who want to thrive, rather than just survive. You can contact Orlando Thrive Therapy at (407) 592-8997 for more information.