The effects of a traumatic event can take months, even years, to process — but even when you move forward with your life, certain triggers can bring back vivid thoughts and emotions. Serving the Washington, DC, metropolitan area in Bowie, Maryland, the licensed mental health care providers of The Modalities Group offers Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) for patients struggling with past trauma. Call the mental health center today or schedule an appointment online to find out if EMDR is right for you.
EMDR is a strictly organized form of therapy that aims to reduce intense emotional responses to traumatic memories and thoughts. The technique involves focusing on a traumatic thought or situation while experiencing bilateral eye movements. Over time, EMDR desensitizes your responses to these feelings or memories.
EMDR is highly effective for individuals experiencing distress. It typically produces results quicker than other forms of therapy for those with trauma, and it doesn’t require talking or homework in between sessions.
With extensive experience in EMDR, the mental health care providers at The Modalities Group can integrate this therapeutic technique into your care plan if you’re working to move forward after a traumatic event.
EMDR helps the brain process traumatic events and the emotions surrounding them. Recovering from trauma requires smooth communication between the amygdala — which trigger’s the brain’s fight, flight, or freeze response — and the hippocampus, which allows the brain to learn memories. These structures work with the prefrontal cortex to process emotions.
When you experience trauma, reliving those thoughts or emotions can freeze your ability to process them. This fight or flight response can cause unsettling emotions, images, and thoughts to occur whenever you remember the traumatic event.
By encouraging you to focus on your trauma while participating in bilateral stimulation (eye movements), your thoughts, emotions, and reactions to the event become less vivid. Over time, EMDR promotes the brain’s healing process, allowing you to remember the traumatic event without feeling intense and uncontrollable emotions.
EMDR is an effective form of therapy for many mental health conditions. The Modalities Group team may incorporate EMDR into your care plan if you have:
EMDR can also help individuals struggling with eating disorders, substance use disorders, and chronic illnesses.
As a short-term form of therapy, EMDR typically requires about eight sessions, though your exact plan may vary. Each session takes about 60-90 minutes. The team may combine EMDR with other types of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and acceptance-commitment therapy (ACT).
Call The Modalities Group today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about EMDR.