What is EMDR Therapy?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing “EMDR” therapy is a well-researched treatment for various mental health issues. EMDR targets traumatic memories that become “locked” in the brain, as well as symptoms associated with these memories, such as flashbacks, recurring nightmares, and disturbing thoughts and emotions. These memories form when an individual is under significant stress, such as experienced during a violent event, abuse, rape, accident, and bullying,

EMDR utilizes a comprehensive, structured and integrative psychotherapy approach. This therapy integrates techniques from well-established and researched therapies. Specifically, EMDR therapy relies on changing information processing. During eight phases of treatment, the therapy focuses on healing past disturbing experiences, current experiences that trigger distressing emotions, maladaptive beliefs and uncomfortable bodily sensations, and enhancement of positive behaviors and thinking processes. Many randomized studies support the effectiveness of EMDR therapy in the treatment of PTSD.

What is an EMDR session like?

During a treatment session, various treatment components are integrated into a protocol depending on the patient’s symptoms. “Bilateral stimulation” relies on bilateral eye movements, listening to tones, or tapping on knees or shoulders (i.e. butterfly tap). Dual attention stimulus processing allows you to focus simultaneously on traumatic material while keeping grounded in the present moment. EMDR movements are believed to stimulate the brain to cause changes in emotions and cognitive patterns.

During the treatment phases, the patient focuses momentarily on specific memories or future situations while engaging in the dual stimulation. Patients often find that their memories become altered and that their associations to disturbing events changes in a positive direction.

After processing, patients frequently experience relief related to the distressing memories and improved emotional functioning that have profound and enduring impacts.

How long will therapy last?

Typical EMDR sessions last about 60 minutes. Single event traumas, such as an accident, may require fewer sessions than long-term trauma and multiple traumatic events,.The impact of the traumatic event(s) and your coping ability and resources are determinants in how many treatment sessions are necessary and when EMDR should be applied. EMDR may be used within a standard therapy format or as a treatment all by itself.

Dr. Mazzei of Evolutions Behavioral Health is trained in EMDR and utilizes this treatment approach when appropriate. She will work closely with you to determine if EMDR therapy is appropriate for your situation and your specific treatment plan.

How do I get started?

The best place to start is by speaking to our staff, who can discuss how EMDR therapy might benefit you, answer any questions about EMDR therapy, and schedule a confidential appointment with Dr. Mazzei. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call or contact us today.

Connect with us

Evolutions Behavioral Health Services is conveniently located at 3120 N. Arizona Ave. Suite 103, Chandler, AZ. Additionally, Dr. Mazzei offers teletherapy for online EMDR treatment. You can reach us at (480) 448-6755.