EMDR Therapy in Calgary
Find healing for your trauma with EMDR Therapy
What Is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapeutic bilateral stimulation technique that helps victims of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other disorders heal from their past negative experiences. During an EMDR session, the EMDR therapist will ask the client to focus on a troubling emotion or memory while moving the eyes rapidly back and forth (by following the psychologist’s fingers).
Who Can Benefit From EMDR
EMDR is a versatile therapy that can benefit anyone dealing with PTSD or other forms of trauma. The following are examples of adverse life experiences that EMDR can effectively treat:
Other Uses Of EMDR Therapy
Get help treating troubling symptoms of mental health issues, traumatic events, and life experiences.
EMDR can ease the symptoms of major distressing events, chronic PTSD, childhood trauma, or smaller, negative experiences and help you overcome them.
Addressing Mental Health Concerns
Coping with PTSD or other traumatic memories can trigger various mental health conditions. EMDR uses a reprocessing therapy method that enables you to address trauma effectively, fostering a stronger self-connection and ultimately leading to improved mental clarity.
How Does EMDR Therapy Work?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy can be deeply emotional, which is why it is treated in 8 phases. Throughout the EMDR process, your therapist will work with you to enhance your emotional regulation and tolerance, empowering you to deal with your distressing emotions. Contact us today to learn more about EMDR Therapy in Calgary.
The Eight Phases of EMDR
Every EMDR therapy session is customized to address your individual needs. However, during a typical session, you will undergo the following eight-phase treatment process.
Treatment Planning For EMDR Therapy
The memories that have not been processed are identified, then the most distressing aspect of the memory/incident becomes the processing target.
Example: Imagine the rapist’s face. The negative belief connected to psychological distress and trauma is identified.
Example: I am going to die. A preferred, positive belief is named.
Example: I am safe now.
On a scale of 1-7, you will be asked to rate how true the positive belief feels when paired with the target. Usually, it does not feel very true at this point.
You will then be asked to name the emotions that the target elicits. You will also be asked to rate the associated distress level on a scale of 0-10 and to locate the emotional pain or disturbance in the body.
Example: Shame and fear, with disturbance level 10 in the belly and chest.
You will be asked to hold awareness of the incident, the disturbing body sensations, and the negative beliefs and emotions.
At the same time, the therapist guides your eyes to move rapidly back and forth or uses pulsating pods that are held in each hand. This process is conducted in sets, ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes each.
Throughout each set, you will be guided to observe any changes happening in your mind and body without controlling the experience in any way. Frequently, during the initial sets, there is an increase in the disturbance level. However, as you progress through each subsequent set, the targeted traumatic memory and disturbing images become less disturbing, and the positive belief feels more and more true.
The target is completely processed when you’re asked to recall traumatic images, and they no longer bring up disturbing emotions, and the preferred positive belief feels totally true.
Example: The client recalls that the rapist’s face was threatening then but does not feel threatened by the disturbing memory anymore.
Benefits of EMDR
EMDR trauma therapy is a proven and effective treatment method for helping people heal faster than other therapy forms.
EMDR is able to reduce the chronic symptoms of past trauma permanently.
EMDR does not rely on hypnosis or drugs, allowing you to stay completely in charge throughout the process.
The Origin of EMDR Therapy
In 1989, EMDR therapy was developed when Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., noticed a reduction in the intensity of her distressing thoughts and emotions after her eyes moved rapidly back and forth.
Intrigued by this discovery, Dr. Shapiro delved deeper into the concept for her doctoral thesis in psychology. Through her studies, she discovered that using rapid eye movements successfully relieved chronic distress in victims who had experienced traumatic events.
For further insights into how EMDR therapy can facilitate lasting, positive change, read our blog post.
Is EMDR Therapy Right for You?
EMDR is an effective approach to trauma treatment, capable of addressing any disturbance that exists in the memory. If you experience a negative emotional response to your memories, EMDR may be a suitable option for you.
Contact us today to learn more about our EMDR counselling services.
If you are currently facing a crisis with limited stability and don’t feel prepared for EMDR therapy, our other individual mental health services may be a better fit for your needs. All of our services are available in Calgary, Alberta.
Our Approach to EMDR Therapy
At Can’t We Just Get Along Counselling, we firmly believe your past traumas don’t define you. Our Calgary-based EMDR psychologists are here to assess and identify the most suitable therapy approach for you, ensuring positive growth results.
Once we’ve had a chance to discuss your traumatic memories during our initial meeting, our team of highly-trained registered psychologists and certified EMDR therapists will work with you to restore peace and clarity in your life.
Get the Help You Need to Heal Your Trauma & Address Mental Health Concerns
Frequently Asked Questions
EMDR is a scientifically proven therapy method that is highly successful for candidates struggling with traumas. According to The Trauma Practice, traumatic stress studies have shown that 84-90% of single-event trauma victims no longer had PTSD symptoms after three sessions. This study is why it is one of the most recommended treatments for those suffering from PTSD or trauma.
EMDR is most effective when you are at a point where you can process your emotions. If you have little social support, are in illegal proceedings, or are in a crisis with minimal stability, it may not be suitable for you. If you are looking for support with past traumatic events, we have many individual services to help you work through your emotions and create a healthy mental environment.
EMDR therapy will look different for everyone based on their trauma and their process of overcoming those challenges. Following your sessions, you may feel negative feelings as you have processed and come to terms with the trauma you went through. In the long run, EMDR will most likely benefit you and can be a solid solution that you can rely on.