What Is EMDR Therapy?

In our clinic, we are all trained in EMDR therapy. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. That is kind of a mouthful, so we just refer to it as EMDR therapy. This therapy was developed for trauma. Trauma occurs on a spectrum. We tend to think of trauma only as abuse and war combat, but being teased once as a child could be traumatic. As we look at trauma, it is really just unprocessed information that continues to create emotional distress. To be honest, they don’t fully understand how EMDR works. The most plausible theory involves REM sleep. When we are in a REM state during sleep, we dream. Our eyes move back and forth (much like the process of EMDR therapy) and it allows the two hemispheres of our brain to communicate and fully integrate all of our thoughts, images, emotions and body sensations that we have experienced over the day. By integrating the thousands of pieces of stimuli, our brain can fully make sense of our experience, sort, categorize and put the information into long-term and short-term memory storage. Our brain functions much like the storage files in our computer. Once our brain has processed this information, we are effectively able to move on from the experience. Have you ever struggled with a problem only to sleep on it and wake up feeling better? Your brain has continued to process the information as you slept. This is what essentially happens during the process involved with EMDR therapy. We can take a painful situation and use this therapy to allow your brain to fully process the stuck information. It is an amazing process!

You might be asking yourself how this applies to eating and weight management. We use this in our clinic in a two-fold process. One, by addressing any underlying trauma that continues to contribute to overeating, binge eating or food addiction, we can help people establish emotional regulation and distress management overall. Two, we can use special protocols to specifically target the emotional connection to food which can dramatically reduce or even eliminate the triggers to turning to food for comfort or escape. I cannot tell you how many clients have seen profound results in this area in an incredibly short amount of time. EMDR can help people move through material in a few sessions that would take months or years in traditional talk therapy and that is if you even got to the core of the issue. Call us today to learn more about how this amazing therapy can help you change your life!!

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Weber State University and a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Utah. She has been working in the mental health field since 2001.

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