What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing is a trauma resolution treatment method. Developed in the late 1980's, EMDR has been more scientifically researched as a treatment for trauma than any other non-pharmaceutical intervention. It has proven to be an effective and rapid method of reprocessing traumatic memories. EMDR appears to assist in the processing of traumatic information, resulting in enhanced integration of memories, and a more adaptive perspective of the traumatic event(s).
According to Linda Curran, LPC, an experienced practitioner of this method, the utilization of EMDR has been shown to eliminate the need for some of the more emotionally difficult work (i.e., reliving the trauma) often associated with other forms of trauma treatment. Essentially, it works to create a type of mind/body integration of the trauma memory. Another way to say it is that EMDR is about convincing the mind and body that the traumatic event is indeed over. It helps to put the past in the past, and helps the individual stop the feeling that the event is happening over and over again in the present, with the same thoughts, emotions and body sensations that originally accompanied the event. Should you and your therapist decide EMDR is right for you, creating a safe and structured environment in which to conduct it will be the first, and ongoing, priority.
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. Research has shown that you can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.