Oregon EMDR | EMDR Specialist Portland Oregon

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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy in Portland Oregon

EMDR therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an effective form of trauma treatment recognized around the world. Numerous randomized EMDR studies support EMDR for the treatment of PTSD. EMDR addresses past experiences that have resulted in trauma, current circumstances triggering undesired emotions and behaviors, and positive re-enforcement necessary to achieve the client’s desired outcomes.

What is EMDR Therapy and How Does EMDR Work?

To answer what is EMDR therapy, there are various techniques used to address a client’s presenting problem. A common process is to utilize bilateral eye movements, auditory tones and/or physical tapping. In the reprocessing phase, a client will be asked to pay attention to past, present or future internal representations, memories or anticipations, and at the same exact time, additionally paying attention to the external bilateral stimulus. Because of the new stimulus being applied to the nervous system, the majority of clients tend to experience new insights, changed perceptions, and the reframing of the meanings old experiences used to have.

EMDR Eight Phases of Treatment

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing follows an eight phase format that allows for adequate time for processing to occur. The following phases are as outlined:

  1. Client intake, assessment of EMDR therapy, and identifying potential “targets” for processing
  2. Client develops new resources for managing distress including stress reduction techniques
  3. EMDR target identified and processed with visual imagery
  4. EMDR target identified and processed through kinesthetic senses
  5. Client reaches neutral state with EMDR target
  6. Client journaling begins
  7. Re-evaluation of client state

The format is generally open and can take anywhere from a single session to multiple sessions per stage until the client reports the presenting issue to be resolved.

What Can You Expect From EMDR for PTSD?

An Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing session will last roughly 90 minutes and typically involves the therapist moving her or his fingers in front of the clients face while the client follows with his or her eyes. During this process, the therapist will ask the client to recall specific external and internal events in the context of the experience the client is addressing. EMDR therapists may also use physical tapping or alternating musical tones to assist with the process. During the initial intake, the EMDR therapist will have asked the client to rate his or her distress level on a scale and the therapist’s goal is to assist the client in reducing the distress level as much as possible.

In addition to PTSD, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is also used to treat many other psychological problems. They include:

  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Eating disorders
  • Addictions

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing has been determined to be a safe therapy with no known EMDR side effects. Learn more about EMDR.

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