If you or a loved one is struggling with anxiety, you’re not alone. In fact, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern in the United States, affecting 40 million adults. While there are many different types of anxiety and treatments available, one that is gaining popularity is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.
EMDR therapy is a type of psychotherapy that uses eye movements to help reduce the symptoms of anxiety. It’s based on the idea that negative experiences can get “stuck” in the brain and cause people to feel anxious or stressed. EMDR therapy can help by reprocessing these memories and thoughts so they no longer have a negative impact.
How EMDR Therapy Works
EMDR therapy is usually done in eight to 12 sessions, each lasting 60-90 minutes. During each session, you’ll work with a therapist to identify a specific memory or thought that is causing you anxiety. Once you’ve identified the memory or thought, the therapist will ask you to focus on it while moving your eyes back and forth in a specific pattern.
The therapist might also ask you to hold certain hand positions or tap on your knees in a specific pattern. These movements help increase your brain’s processing speed so the negative memory or thought can be reprocessed more quickly.
As you move your eyes back and forth or tap on your knees, the therapist will also guide you through different emotions and sensations that come up for you. For example, if you start to feel overwhelmed, the therapist might ask you to focus on your breath or an activity that makes you feel safe.
The goal of EMDR therapy is not to eliminate all memories of the event that caused your anxiety but rather to reduce their negative impact so they no longer cause distress.
3 of the Biggest Benefits of EMDR Therapy for Anxiety
1. It’s Effective
EMDR therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for anxiety. It helps reduce the symptoms of anxiety by reprocessing negative memories and thoughts, which can help people feel more positive and hopeful about their future.
2. It’s Fast
Unlike other types of therapies which can take months or even years, EMDR therapy tends to be much faster. Most people only need 8-12 sessions before they start seeing significant improvements in their symptoms.
3. It’s Versatile
EMDR therapy can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions beyond just anxiety disorders such as depression, eating disorders, substance abuse disorders, and more.
What to Expect in EMDR Therapy
If you’re thinking about starting EMDR therapy, it’s important to know what to expect. During the first few sessions, your therapist will get to know you and your history. They’ll also teach you some skills to help you cope with anxiety. These can include:
- Relaxation techniques
- Mindfulness exercises
- Positive thinking
Once you’ve learned some coping skills, your therapist will start to guide you through the EMDR therapy process. This usually involves focusing on a specific memory or thought while moving your eyes back and forth in a specific pattern. As you do this, the
For those in recovery from addiction, it’s especially important to have a therapist you trust. EMDR therapy can be intense, and it’s important to have someone who is supportive and understanding.
If you’re struggling with anxiety, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. EMDR therapy could be the answer you’ve been looking for.
Addiction Therapy at Athens Recovery
Athens Recovery is a dual diagnosis treatment center located in Athens, Ohio. We offer a variety of evidence-based treatment options for those struggling with addiction and mental health concerns. Our highly trained staff provides individualized care to each and every client. If you’re ready to start your recovery journey, we’re here to help—just call 844.959.4998 or reach out online to get started.