Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a unique mind-body-based intervention best known for treating PTSD, generalized anxiety, depression, and performance anxiety. It is a mental health treatment to help people recover from traumatic memories or difficult life events. Eye Movement Desensitizing and Reprocessing Therapy treatment is short-term, effective, and can be done in person or at home through online therapy.
What is Eye Movement Desensitizing and Reprocessing Therapy?
Eye Movement Desensitizing and Reprocessing Therapy is a neuroscience-based approach to trauma therapy that uses an 8-phase protocol. Different from more traditional talking therapies, EMDR therapist focuses on activating and desensitizing painful or disturbing memories.
That means that the negative subjective beliefs, visual stimulation, and uncomfortable body sensations, such as muscle tension, are removed from sensitivity and are no longer linked to each other by neurons in the brain. This frees the mind to follow what EMDR calls the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) paradigm.
The mind can think more accurately about life events or relationships and realize that these stimuli are a thing of the past. EMDR allows us to live our present life without the content of past life affecting what we live now.
What can Eye Movement Desensitizing and Reprocessing Therapy help with?
Research has shown that EMDR therapy is effective in treating:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- performance awe
- developmental trauma
- Relationship difficulties
How does EMDR work online?
The basic principles and stages of EMDR do not change when you do it online. It is essentially the same and potentially enhanced by the fact that those receiving treatment can take advantage of the various comforts of home during treatment.
Eye Movement Desensitizing and Reprocessing Therapy use grounding techniques to help the client feel safe during the process. Often with online EMDR, providers will spend more time focusing on grounding technologies, or “resources,” since the provider is less able to support this process remotely.
Some providers have been running EMDR online successfully for years. The pandemic has also highlighted the need for effective online treatments. Fortunately, hundreds of providers have adapted to administer EMDR both as telemedicine and in telehealth settings. Unfortunately, no extensive research has yet been done to compare EMDR use online versus in-person use; However, previously published data are promising.
Some benefits of online Eye Movement Desensitizing and Reprocessing Therapy
- Attend the sessions in the comfort and convenience of your home
- Save on travel time and costs
- You can still participate in sessions even if you are required to stay home due to COVID-19 restrictions
- Medicare discounts apply to online EMDR therapy sessions for customers with a valid mental health treatment plan (a referral from a GP)
Basic Requirements for Online EMDR Therapy
- Reliable and stable internet connection
- Desktop, laptop, iPad, or another tablet
- Headphones and a built-in camera or webcam on your device
- A private, secure, and uninterrupted space where you feel able to speak freely with minimal distractions
- A phone next to you during the session so that your therapist can easily contact you if there are technical issues with your Internet connection or the online platform
- Water and tissue nearby during your session
Before beginning EMDR therapy online, your therapist will work with you to make sure that you are safe enough and ready to engage in traumatic work and that you have some self-soothing skills to manage emotional distress.
Many customers have reported positive experiences with EMDR therapy online. With a few minor tweaks and clever use of technology, it can be easily communicated over the Internet. It is not different from face-to-face Eye Movement Desensitizing and Reprocessing Therapy, except that some small adjustments are made in how the bilateral stimulation is performed (eg, eye movements).
Many therapists choose to use an online platform that involves the client tracking the ball as it moves across the screen and listening to alternating sounds in headphones. If for any reason a computer program does not suit a particular client, there is another option available that also works.
The most important thing is that the treatment is tailored to meet the individual needs of the client.
- Eye Movement Desensitizing and Reprocessing Therapy treatment is short-term, effective, and can be done in person or at home through online therapy.
- The eight stages of EMDR therapy are a map that the EMDR therapist follows to provide a framework for understanding the treatment process.
- 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 Therapy is often used to treat anxiety disorders as more and more clinicians & patients begin to understand the benefits of treatment.
- Identifying strong & negative thoughts or beliefs is a key benefit of EMDR Therapy, making EMDR a strong treatment for depression & major depressive disorders.
- 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 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.
- 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
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.