How EMDR Works
The user inhales the air via a comfortable cannula for about 20-30 minutes. The effect may be compared to inhaling a potentiated concentration of fresh mountain or sea air. As a result, it becomes easier for cells to utilize oxygen in the body. Patients will normally experience positive effects pretty quickly because improved oxygen utilization promotes (mitochondrial) cell activity and communication, regulates metabolism and releases new vital energy.
EMDR psychotherapy is an information processing therapy and uses an eight-phase approach to address the experiential contributors of a wide range of pathologies. The therapy offers a reprocessing of disturbing life experiences-resulting in a significant reduction or elimination of symptoms such as emotional distress, intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, and nightmares. EMDR attends to the past experiences that have set the groundwork for pathology, the current situations that trigger dysfunctional emotions, beliefs and sensations, and the positive experience needed to enhance future adaptive behaviors and mental health.
The model used to explain the cornerstone of the EMDR approach is AIP – Adaptive Information Processing. The information processing system registers experiences/emotions and stores them within memory networks. This information processing system, like all other body systems, is intrinsically geared toward homeostasis/health.
However, when not processed adaptively at the time of the event, disturbing memories/emotions are dysfunctionally stored in memory networks and consequently cause current perceptions to be interpreted in a dysfunctional way; they block experiences from being adaptively processed. Reprocessing traumatic events with the assistance of EMDR allows “overriding” the blocks and dysfunctionally stored memories and replaces/transmutes them into an adaptive resolution.
EMDR therapy shows that the mind can, in fact, heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to heal the wound. If there is something that irritates the wound, it causes pain. Once the object is removed, healing resumes. Similarly, EMDR therapy works on mental processes.
During treatment, various procedures and protocols are used to address the entire clinical picture. One of the procedural elements is “dual stimulation” using either bilateral eye movements, tones or taps. During the reprocessing phases, the client attends momentarily to past memories, present triggers, or anticipated future experiences while simultaneously focusing on a set of external stimuli. During that time, clients generally experience the emergence of insight, changes in memories, or new associations. The practitioner assists the client to focus on appropriate material before initiation of each subsequent set.
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