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EMDR, which stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a psychotherapy technique used to help patients release traumatic events from their past. It is a type of therapy that is well-researched and has proven very effective in helping people from all backgrounds heal from the past traumas that are affecting their present-day living experience. The Relationship Therapy Center offers EMDR for trauma therapy in Roseville and Fair Oaks, Ca.

If you are curious about EMDR therapy or want to know more about what to expect during an EMDR trauma therapy session, you have come to the right place.

There are eight phases of EMDR treatment. The first phases include assessing a patient’s readiness, gathering their history, and creating a plan for treatment. The fourth stage is called the rapid eye movement phase and it is during this stage of treatment that the patient will be asked to relive the past traumatic experience. In a safe setting, the therapist will gently guide the patient to remember the images, feelings, and thoughts that they have associated with this event.

Once the patient has reconnected to the event, the therapist will prompt him or her to identify a negative or limiting self-belief that was created out of the experience. The patient will also be asked to create a positive self-belief that would resolve and replace the negative belief that currently exists. 

An example of a negative self-belief that might stem from childhood neglect or abuse is, “I deserved what I got and therefore I am unlovable”. An example of a positive self-belief that can replace this is, “I am a good person. I am safe and worthy of love”.

Once the negative belief has been identified and the positive belief created, the therapist will lead the patient through a series of side-to-side eye movements, tapping and clicking sounds, while the patient once again relives their trauma. After each series of movements and sounds the therapist will ask the patient what has occurred and if the images and feelings they have associated with the past traumatic event have changed. 

The eye movements and sounds are repeated until the traumatic experience no longer has a distressing effect on the patient. At this time, the patient is asked to call in the positive self-belief that they have created. The final four stages of treatment allow the patient to replace their negative belief with the new, positive belief. This process allows the natural healing powers of the brain to release and resolve trauma in a safe and healthy way and to replace the negative association with a positive one. 

EMDR trauma therapy has shown to be effective for patients with PTSD, panic, anxiety, and/or trauma. It has proven to be an especially useful treatment method for people who have experienced childhood abuse or neglect, rape and sexual assault, and combat trauma. This type of therapy identifies the traumatic events that have overwhelmed the brain’s natural ability to heal itself and provides the patient a safe environment in which to reprocess traumatic information and heal trauma in the present time, transforming negative self-beliefs into positive ones. 

If you are interested in learning more or scheduling an appointment, please contact the Relationship Therapy Center to discuss trauma therapy in Fair Oaks and Roseville, Ca.