Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences, including PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Addictions.
EMDR is recognized by the American Psychiatric Association, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the World Health Organization.
The brains have a natural way to recover from traumatic memories and events. This process involves communication between the amygdala (the alarm signal for stressful events), the hippocampus (which assists with learning, including memories about safety and danger), and the prefrontal cortex (which analyzes and controls behaviour and emotion). When distress from a disturbing event remains, the upsetting images, thoughts, and emotions may create feelings of being overwhelmed, being back in that moment, or being "frozen in time." EMDR therapy helps the brain process these memories and allows normal healing to resume. The experience is still remembered, but the fight, flight, freeze or collapse response from the original event is resolved.
Who may benefit from EMDR?
EMDR therapy is suitable for children, youth and adults of all ages to address a wide of psychological challenges. It includes, but not limited to, Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorders, Dissociative Identity Disorders, Eating Disorders, Grief and Loss, Chronic Pain, Performance Anxiety, Personality Disorders, Sexual Abuse, PTSD and other traumatic experiences. EMDR is also known to be effective for addictions treatment.
At Restoring Peace, we integrate EMDR Therapy with other modalities, including CBT, Psychodynamic, Expressive Arts, and Ego-States. We also apply Flash Technique to help reduce the clients' distress.
Expressive arts incorporates writing, drawing, painting, pictures and/or sands during the therapy sessions. The objective is to help clients explore their responses, reactions, and insights through these tools. It is useful for people who are visual or those with difficulty to express themselves through talk therapy. A person is not required to have the artistic ability to benefit from expressive arts.
Art expression is beneficial for people who have difficulty verbalising their thoughts and feelings. At Restoring Peace, we use Expressive Arts to help our clients identify their intense emotions and connect with their unconscious during the preparation stage of EMDR.
Flash Technique has been demonstrated to reduce the disturbance level associated with severely painful memories effectively. Like EMDR, Flash utilizes eye movements or alternating tapping and is designed to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories in the brain.
While research is still ongoing, clients who experience the Flash technique reported a rapid reduction of their distress level. The Flash technique is beneficial for clients who have experienced severe trauma and is fearful of connecting to that traumatic event for processing the trauma. An EMDR-trained Trauma Therapist administered Flash Technique to help their client access the memory in less disturbing ways. The aim is to reduce the intensity of those traumatic memories, thus increase the clients capacity to process other traumatic memories that may surface during EMDR treatment.
Flash technique is suitable for clients of all ages.