EMDR & Treating Poor Job Performance

EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a form of psychotherapy that specifically targets these negative life experiences and helps the brain reprocess them. EMDR therapy takes advantage of these sensory connections to our past. It’s like hitting the reset button and preventing some specific past experience from becoming a limitation.

One of the most innovative uses of EMDR therapy is to treat performance issues. People often work below their potential because of a history of criticism, mistakes, self-questioning, or relational abuse. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a treatment that can help quickly and effectively overcome workplace stress.

EMDR is effective in reducing stress and anxiety surrounding work or studies and targeting irrational or negative beliefs such as: “I’m a failure,” “There’s something wrong with me,” or “I will never succeed.” A person gains the confidence in his or her ability to perform the task or reach a goal. EMDR works to achieve this by establishing positive beliefs, and by making the person visualize doing the things they are nervous about doing or would like to improve while doing bilateral stimulation. This has the effect of reducing task-related fear, anxiety, or stress and boosting confidence. EMDR helps the brain to think in a healthier and more adaptive way by removing negative self-beliefs and helping a person tap into their strengths.

 What are some typical work performance issues that EMDR addresses?

  • Exam anxiety
  • Public speaking, interviews, and presentations
  • anticipatory anxiety
  • Difficulties in teamwork
  • Managing difficult people
  • inconsistent performance
  • Poor stress management skills
  • Communication difficulties
  • Healing from sports injuries

How EMDR Therapy Can Help to Improve Performance

EMDR to improve performance

One of the most innovative uses of EMDR therapy is to treat performance issues. EMDR uses the same process to help reduce stress and anxiety around work, school, or other types of performance. Examples of performance-related issues might include:

  • Exam anxiety
  • Concerns about public speaking, interviews, and presentations
  • anticipatory anxiety
  • inconsistent performance
  • Poor stress management skills
  • Healing from sports injuries

Perhaps one of the most debilitating sports-related performance issues is referred to as “yaps,” a condition that is said to affect between 32-47% of serious golfers. For unknown reasons, skilled athletes (golfers and baseball players) will suddenly encounter a mental obstacle that interferes with their ability to perform easy automatic tasks on the court or on the golf course. For example, professional golfers may suddenly not be able to drive the ball straight or baseball catchers may not be able to throw the ball to the pitcher.

What you can expect from the treatment

EMDR treatment consists of eight phases:

The therapist collects the client’s history and begins developing a treatment plan. This is a collaborative process that involves both the EMDR therapist and the client. This stage includes a discussion of the symptomatic problem and any symptoms related to that problem.

The therapist begins preparing the client for the EMDR process by explaining the theory and practice behind the treatment. Relaxation techniques have been developed and enhanced using any form of bilateral stimulation. These techniques are used at the end of each treatment session to ensure that the client is calm and free of any disturbances.

Once the client sets specific EMDR goals, the therapist guides the client in defining the image that represents the target event. Next, the therapist helps the client explore any negative beliefs, feelings, and physical sensations associated with the triggering event. The therapist then assists the client in identifying a positive belief that can replace the negative cognition during the treatment process phase.

Once the treatment session has been ‘set up: the therapist will ask the client to focus on the distressing image and negative perception while using some form of bilateral stimulation (eg following a set of lights). This process continues until the memory no longer provokes any disturbance.

After the client reprocesses any traumatic events, positive beliefs are installed by having the client “hold on” to the past event and the new positive perception. The therapist repeats eye movements during this process.

The client is asked to perform a physical examination to determine if there are any areas of tension, tension, or distress associated with the original traumatic memory. If any stress persists, the therapist and client assess the nature of the stress and determine if further treatment is needed. If the client denies that there is any tension, the therapist will move to the final stages.

At the end of each session, the client is questioned to ensure that he is in a better physical and mental condition than when he arrived at the session.

Women entrepreneurs photo created by pressfoto – www.freepik.com

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

    Eye Movement Desensitizing and Reprocessing Therapy treatment is short-term, effective, and can be done in person or at home through online therapy.
  • EMDR Therapy Phases

    The eight stages of EMDR therapy are a map that the EMDR therapist follows to provide a framework for understanding the treatment process.
  • EMDR as Treatment

    EMDR therapy is an effective way to get over your past and serves as a treatment option for those suffering from anxiety, panic, post-traumatic stress disorder, or trauma.
  • EMDR & Anxiety

    EMDR Therapy is often used to treat anxiety disorders as more and more clinicians & patients begin to understand the benefits of treatment.
  • EMDR & Depression

    Identifying strong & negative thoughts or beliefs is a key benefit of EMDR Therapy, making EMDR a strong treatment for depression & major depressive disorders.
  • EMDR & Poor Job Performance

    Both employees & executives often work at below their potential because of past trauma caused by a history of criticism, mistakes , self-questioning or relational abuse. EMDR Therapy can help.
  • EMDR & Low Self Esteem

    EMDR Therapy is an effective treatment for helping those with low self esteem. It can define if your feelings are the result of abuse as a child or if something more recent is impacting your self esteem.
  • EMDR & Sexual Dysfunction

    Sexual dysfunction often ties back to deep-rooted psychological causes; EMDR Therapy helps the patient (and therapist) get to the root cause and have a chance to "reprocess" the info for a better result without dysfunction.

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) & Mental Health Service Provider (MHSP) in Tennessee

I am a firm believer in the effectiveness of EMDR Therapy and have seen the treatment help my patients time and time again. With over 15 years of experience in traditional personal & family therapy & counseling in my background, I find as an EMDR therapist in Tennessee that the treatment works faster to highlight and address deep-rooted problems than traditional treatment modalities.  Most of my patients end up working with me through traditional therapy and counseling while also undergoing EMDR therapy under my direction. 

Steven Lepley LPC, MHSP

Steven Lepley LPC, MHSP

Licensed in Tennessee

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor, Mental Health Services Provider & EMDR Therapist offering virtual telemedicine appointments throughout all of Tennessee.

Ask me about my experience & how I can help you address the challenges you are facing. Call me or text me at 615.330.2659.