How EMDR Trauma Therapy Affects Your Brain

How EMDR Trauma Therapy Affects Your Brain

How EMDR Trauma Therapy Affects Your Brain

Trauma is an emotional response to any distressing experience that overwhelms an individual's ability to cope. Though it is often associated with combat veterans, any emotionally distressing experience can cause PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD can be overwhelming for the individual suffering; intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, and nightmares are not uncommon in people experiencing PTSD. In cases like this, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) may be the best treatment.

What is EMDR Trauma Therapy?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) trauma therapy is a noninvasive treatment meant to help alleviate the symptoms of PTSD. It is a form of psychotherapy that attempts to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories and PTSD. This unique therapy typically employs Eye Movements, which can have the same effect as REM sleep, which is the body's natural way of processing memories.

How EMDR Trauma Therapy Affects The Brain

Studies show that EMDR can have significant effects on the hippocampus. This part of the brain plays a crucial role in processing traumatic stressors and transferring them to long-term memory. MRI studies indicate an increase in hippocampal activity in individuals who receive EMDR.

EMDR leads to an increase in the brain's alpha-waves. These waves are active in the brain when the body is relaxed and calm. Alpha waves have been associated with the brain's ability to integrate new information and recall positive memories.

EMDR therapy also helps with emotional regulation. This helps individuals to feel less reactive in stressful situations and better control their emotions. This is believed to be because EMDR disrupts the HPA axis, causing cortisol levels to decrease. This has a calming effect, which helps individuals feel more relaxed and less stressed.

EMDR And Your Emotions

EMDR also works to uncover the emotions that are associated with the traumatic event. During therapy, individuals are asked to sit with their emotions and experiences while utilizing body awareness techniques. These methods help individuals to identify the emotions they're experiencing and overcome them.


PTSD is a severe mental disorder that affects millions of individuals worldwide. EMDR therapy is a non-invasive, stunningly effective treatment that re-processes the traumatic memory in the brain by modifying it to a less distressing state. EMDR helps reduce intrusive thoughts and nightmares, allowing individuals to reprocess traumatic memories and empower themselves towards a new way of being. Contact Orlando Thrive Therapy today for counseling services and to learn more about how EMDR therapy in Winter Park, FL can help alleviate the symptoms of your PTSD.

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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.