Are you experiencing intense emotions related to a specific memory?
Does the thought of reliving that memory make you feel anxious?
Are you having trouble sleeping because of the stress caused by memories?
Do you have difficulty concentrating or remembering things?
Are you numb to other people's feelings and needs?
If you answered yes to any of these questions,
then it’s likely that EMDR therapy could benefit you.
What Is EMDR Therapy?
Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR), sometimes called "eye movement desensitization," is a type of psychotherapy that helps you recover from traumatic experiences by helping you change the way your mind stores information about stressful situations. The idea behind EMDR therapy is that when you repeatedly relive the memory without processing it fully, it triggers a physiological response called "flashback," which causes you to feel anxious and emotionally overwhelmed.
What Is EMDR Therapy Used For?
EMDR therapy is most commonly known for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, it's becoming one of the fastest-growing therapies for trauma. There are several reasons why this is happening.
- There's been a huge increase in the number of people suffering from trauma.
- There's been a rise in awareness surrounding trauma.
- There's been a shift towards evidence-based medicine.
- There's been a lot of success stories where people have had great outcomes with EMDR therapy.
There are many different types of trauma. Some people experience physical trauma like car accidents, sexual assault, etc. Others experience emotional trauma like divorce, bullying, domestic violence, etc. Still, others suffer from psychological trauma like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc. In fact, trauma affects nearly everyone at some point in life. If you're struggling with a problem that could be caused by trauma, consider looking into EMDR therapy.
Is EMDR Therapy Safe?
EMDR therapy is considered a safe form of therapy. However, it is important to note that no one method works for everyone. There is the possibility that you might feel uncomfortable while undergoing EMDR therapy. Your therapist will help you work through those feelings and learn how to cope with them. Effective therapy doesn't mean re-triggering trauma or leaving you burdened by your emotions. You have full control over your treatment process.
How to Know If You're Ready For EMDR?
The goal of EMDR therapy is to facilitate positive change by helping patients process difficult memories and learn how to deal with those memories in healthier ways. The question "Am I ready for EMDR therapy" is important to ask yourself before starting treatment. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help make your decision:
- Do you think that what's happening in your life is causing you stress and suffering?
- Am I willing to take responsibility for my own healing?
- Can I commit myself to attending weekly sessions?
- Do you feel safe sharing your story with someone else?
If you answered yes to all these questions, then you may be ready for EMDR therapy. Take time to discuss with your therapist whether or not EMDR therapy is right for you.
How Does EMDR Therapy Work?
EMDR therapy is divided into 8 phases, and treatment usually lasts between 6 to 12 sessions, but possibly more depending on your progress. Each session consists of four parts:
- Reviewing the past week
- Processing the current event
- Distress tolerance training
- Moving forward
Each phase builds upon the last. For example, reviewing the past week allows you to identify any patterns that are causing distress. Then, you'll practice new skills to manage your emotions during processing. Finally, during distress tolerance training, you'll learn how to tolerate negative thoughts and feelings without acting out. Once you've mastered this skill, you can move forward and apply it to future events.
Phase 1: History and treatment planning
The first step in therapy is to identify what brought you to therapy in the first place. You might already know why you want help; however, it's important to understand how your current situation came into existence. Take time to answer the following questions:
- Did you experience trauma early in life?
- Do you feel like there is something wrong with yourself?
- How do you cope with stress?
- What triggers do you use to deal with difficult situations?
These questions go beyond the scope of a typical medical exam. They are meant to give your therapist a deeper insight into your mental state and overall well-being.
The second part of the assessment focuses on your thoughts and feelings about the traumatic event(s). In addition to discussing your symptoms, your therapist will ask you about your experiences during the incident. Once you answer these questions, your therapist will start to build a picture of the events leading up to the trauma. If necessary, he or she will talk about things that happened prior to the incident. This helps your therapist determine what precipitated the incident and how it affected you.
Phase 2: Preparation
In the second phase, your therapist will teach you some different ways to deal with any emotional or psychological stress you may be feeling or any uncomfortable emotions that may arise during therapy. You will develop coping strategies as your therapist may use various resource techniques. In addition to learning about effective ways to handle difficult emotions, you'll work together to identify what triggers those negative thoughts and feelings. You'll also practice identifying positive aspects of yourself and others and explore solutions to problems that are important to you.
Phase 3: Assessment
During the third phase of EMDR treatment, your therapist will help you select a specific memory to target during therapy. This step helps determine what memories are most important to work on during the course of treatment. To do this, your therapist will ask about the following topics:
- What memories are most upsetting to you?
- How often do you think about those memories?
- Are there any particular parts of the memory that are especially difficult to recall?
- Do you feel like you could use some help processing the memories?
- Is there anything else you want to talk about?
Your therapist will also assess whether focusing on one type of memory over another makes sense. For example, if you tend to dwell mostly on negative memories, your therapist might suggest focusing on positive ones. Or, if you experience flashbacks, your therapist might recommend working on the triggers that cause them.
Phase 4-7: Treatment
In phases four through seven, you and your therapist will address the targeted memory using the EMDR Bilateral stimulation (BLS) technique. You'll focus on both sides of the brain simultaneously while recalling the memory. The goal is to process the memory in an emotionally safe environment where you can express all of your feelings without judgment. Your therapist will guide you through each stage of the procedure and, after each session, walk you through relaxation techniques and other tools to help you cope with the effects of the treatment.
Phase 8: Reevaluation
The final phase of EMDR therapy is called the Reevaluation Phase. This is where the therapist helps the client reevaluate his/her life, including the relationship with the traumatic event(s). During this phase, the therapeutic process continues to help the client make sense of what happened and how it affected him/her.
Who Can Benefit From EMDR Therapy?
EMDR therapy is often recommended as a treatment for people who have experienced trauma such as sexual abuse, physical violence, natural disasters, war, accidents, etc. It's also used to treat anxiety disorders, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), phobias, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and more. However, because it has been shown to be helpful for so many different types of issues, it's not uncommon for therapists to use EMDR therapy for clients who don't necessarily fit into these categories. Speak with your therapist about whether EMDR therapy is right for you and your situation.
Finding An EMDR Therapist Near You
With the rise of online resources, finding someone qualified to treat you could be easier than ever. But how do you know whether a therapist is trained in EMDR? Here are some things to look out for when searching for a therapist.
- A license or certification. Many states require that licensed mental health professionals hold licenses to practice their profession. If you're looking for a therapist who specializes in EMDR, check to see if they have a license to practice psychotherapy.
- Training. Ask your potential therapist if he/she completed training in EMDR therapy. Some therapists may offer EMDR therapy but lack formal training. Be sure to ask questions about any additional training the therapist received before beginning treatment.
- Find someone who fits your needs. If you're looking for help specifically for trauma, look for a therapist with experience treating trauma victims. Also, ask your therapist if he/she uses EMDR therapy with adults, children, and adolescents.
- Cost of EMDR therapy sessions. Cost varies and depends on several factors. For example, insurance coverage, length of treatment, and the number of sessions. Get your questions answered before committing to any type of treatment plan.
- References. Review the counseling practice on Google. Check out your potential therapist by visiting his or her biography website. Look at reviews left by those who know the therapist personally. And finally, talk to your friends and family members who've worked with the therapist. They can give you insight into the quality of care provided by the therapist.
EMDR Therapy Helps Process Difficult Experiences
When dealing with traumatic events, EMDR counseling can help you work through difficult experiences. If you face traumatic memories and emotions, EMDR therapy can help you process them. It can be helpful to talk about what happened, why it happened, and how it made you feel. This helps you understand the impact of the event and learn coping skills to deal with similar situations in the future.
We know that you want your life back. We know that you want to move forward and live a happy, healthy life. EMDR therapy can help. You deserve to heal from the pain and suffering caused by past traumas. You deserve to live a fulfilling life. If you’re ready to start EMDR therapy and experience healing, call us today at (850) 757-1552!
Our New Heights EMDR Therapists Are Here For You
Our professional EMDR-trained clinicians are here to provide you with the best possible care. Our team understands that you need a safe place to discuss your issues and concerns. We also understand that you need an environment where you can focus on your recovery and get the help you need. Your therapist will guide you in the EMDR process and through this challenging period of your life. Given new tools to cope with your challenges, you'll find yourself moving forward and achieving a healthier version of yourself.
EMDR Therapy At New Heights Counseling Can Help
You may not initially think you can feel better, but you can. When you enter our Fort Walton Beach counseling office, you'll find yourself surrounded by caring professionals who want to help you get well.
We understand that when emotions overwhelm you, you need someone who you can turn to for support. That's why we want to answer your questions and give you all the information you need to determine whether we're a good fit for each other. If you'd like more information about EMDR therapy, contact us via phone or email at, Contact Us Here.
Our Approach to Therapy at New Heights Counseling
We are a private practice, and we know that trauma therapy can be effective for clients just like you to lead healthier, happier, and more fulfilling lives. We provide personalized EMDR therapy for clients who need help dealing with their past trauma and other emotional struggles.
You will meet for the first time with a therapist at your initial assessment session, where you'll discuss your situation and decide which type of treatment would be most appropriate for you. The two of you will also review how your initial reaction to your trauma has affected your life. If you're taking any medication, let the therapist know about it. If you have a history of mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, etc., share that too. Please make sure to attend every session so you get the maximum benefit from the therapy. To learn more about your first session, read the following blog written by one of our therapists, What to Expect from Your First Counseling Session.
Why Choose Counseling With New Heights
We're here for you. Our mental health therapists focus on making sure you feel comfortable and have a safe space to share your concerns. We know it can sometimes be hard to ask for help when we really need it. That's why we offer a wide range of convenient options for you to connect with a therapist for individual counseling. We offer in-person sessions at our Fort Walton Beach, FL office and online therapy for clients in Florida.
Therapy sessions require a solid therapeutic relationship between therapist and patient. It’s not just about talking; it’s about listening and understanding. Your therapist will listen to you without judgment and encourage you to explore things openly. We can build hope together as we work towards a better quality of life for you.
6 Myths About EMDR Therapy
MYTH #1: EMDR is new.
FACT: Actually, EMDr isn't new. With increasing awareness of EMDR and its many advantages, there are now over four million treatments worldwide, per the National Institute of Mental Health.
MYTH#2: EMDR is strictly used for PTSD.
FACT: While EMDR is primarily used to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), it is commonly used to treat a wide range of emotional disorders, including depression, anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, chronic pain, eating disorders, and insomnia. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that EMDR positively affected symptoms of stress, grief, anger, and nightmares. Another study found that EMDR helped reduce the severity of symptoms of PTSD as well as decrease the number of flashbacks experienced by veterans suffering from PTSD.
MYTH #2: EMDR is hypnosis
FACT: EMDR (Eye Movements Desensitization Reprocessing) is often mistaken for hypnosis because of its eye movements component. EMDR is different than hypnosis because its goal is completely different. The goal of EMDR is "dual attention," meaning you're ALWAYS paying attention to both the traumatic memory and the present moment.
MYTH #4: I'm too old or young to receive EMDR therapy.
FACT: Trauma affects people of all ages, from young children to older adults. According to the American Psychological Association, approximately 70% of Americans who experience trauma develop some form of psychological distress. There is no minimum age requirement for receiving EMDR therapy. Anyone who feels they could benefit from this therapy should seek an EMDR practitioner.
MYTH #5: EMDR will make me relive my trauma.
FACT: This myth comes from a misunderstanding of how EMDR works. EMDR does not re-traumatize someone. Instead, it helps you process the original trauma so you don't become overwhelmed by it. When you reprocess a traumatic event, you gain more control over it instead of being controlled by it.
MYTH #6: EMDR isn't backed by research.
FACT: Research has shown that EMDR is effective for treating a variety of issues ranging from mild to severe. A recent study published in the journal Military Medicine showed that EMDR was effective in reducing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in active-duty military personnel.
Are You Ready To Start Your Counseling?
The staff and EMDR clinicians at New Heights Counseling, located in Fort Walton Beach, FL., are ready to assist you with your counseling needs. Our intake team is available Monday-Friday, 8 AM to 4 PM, to answer any questions you have regarding our services. Schedule an appointment with one of our qualified therapists today!
Appointment Schedule (Last appointment-4 PM)
Monday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Evenings/Weekends by Appointment
Begin EMDR Therapy Treatment in Fort Walton Beach, Florida
You're tired of living in a state of emotional turmoil. You've tried everything to get rid of the negative feelings, but nothing seems to work. Maybe you feel like you can't go on anymore. If you've tried traditional talk therapies without success, then EMDR may be right for you. We're here for you and can help you determine if EMDR is right for you and what type of treatment would work best. Follow these steps:
- Reach out to New Heights Counseling. Call (850) 757-1552 or email us at: info@Florida-counseling.com
- Meet with one of our EMDR-trained therapists. Meet Our Team
- Begin your journey in healing from the emotional pain you've lived with for too long.
Not ready for therapy yet?
Our counselors often write blogs related to clients' concerns. Here are just a few posts you might find useful!
- Emotional Numbness, Help is Available! by Colleen Wenner, Founder & Director of New Heights Counseling.
- 12 Tips for coping with the effects of trauma by Colleen Wenner, Founder & Director of New Heights Counseling.
- What Is EMDR Therapy? by Hillary Marshall, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern
- What Should Clients Ask An EMDR Therapist? The article was written by EMDRIA's members
- Welcome Video from New Heights Counseling Founder & Clinical Director, Colleen Wenner
Other Mental Health Services at New Heights Counseling
EMDR therapy isn’t our only service in our Fort Walton Beach, FL, practice. We know that life can be complicated, and we understand you might be dealing with several things at once. Our therapists at New Heights Counseling have a variety of specialties. We're able to provide a range of mental health services. Some of our specialties include anxiety counseling, addiction counseling, trauma therapy, adolescent counseling, couples counseling, family counseling, military counseling, individual counseling, group counseling, and more! We're here to help.