EMDR therapy is becoming a preferred intervention for many mental and emotional disorders today. Treatment for mental health issues is a constantly changing landscape. Psychological research often provides exciting results from emerging therapies and treatment protocols, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR) is one of those therapies. Find out how EMDR therapy may be able to help your teen with a variety of emotional and mental challenges.
What Is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy?
EMDR is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been proven effective for the treatment of trauma and other psychological conditions. EMDR incorporates elements of many different treatment approaches to help relieve psychological stress. It is an information processing modality that uses an eight-phase approach to address past experiences that have laid the groundwork for PTSD and trauma. It also addresses current situations that can trigger dysfunctional emotions, beliefs and sensations, and introduces positive experiences that help restore appropriate, adaptive behaviors and mental stability.
Other Applications of EMDR Therapy
Today, psychologists know that EMDR isn’t just for people with PTSD or significant trauma. It can often help with difficult life events or transitions, and help teenagers manage emotions that they are struggling with on their own. If your teen often feels annoyed, angry or bored, isolates herself from others or feels that she isn’t good enough, EMDR therapy may be the answer. If she often has nightmares, a hard time falling asleep and/or staying asleep and tends to keep emotions inside, this approach can help establish effective coping therapies. If your daughter uses drugs and alcohol to escape from uncomfortable feelings, EMDR can help there as well.
How EMDR Works
During EMDR therapy, the client is directed to move her eyes rapidly from side to side while thinking about the negative or traumatic event that is causing the problem. This therapy is designed to replicate the experience of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. REM sleep is the stage during which dreams occur, known by scientists as a process for releasing stressors, tension and memories that have become emotionally problematic.
EMDR therapists are trained to provide a gentle, guided experience and to help your child process the trauma or underlying issue. EMDR essentially helps your teen’s brain to organize thoughts linked to traumatic events or feelings and then put the pieces together in a logical, non-traumatic manner. This makes the events that trigger bad feelings or behaviors less overwhelming, negating their ability to make your teen feel sad, angry or shameful, or to feel that she is not worthy. This in turn helps them to control their emotions more effectively to avoid excessive aggression or anger. Although EMDR does take a bit of time and effort, its documented track record for success makes it a popular therapeutic choice throughout the world today.
If you think your daughter might benefit from EMDR therapy, contact Havenwood Academy today for more information and to set up a consultation. Havenwood’s residential treatment programs include a variety of therapeutic approaches designed to address the mental and emotional challenges girls and young women face today. Contact them today to learn more about EMDR therapy.