Since mental health disorders are progressive and chronic, early treatment is essential in order to prevent disabling symptoms. Conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can make it difficult to work, go to school, or interact with others.

Traumatic events happen every day and unfortunately, many people experience them. If you are someone who has been affected by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event, it’s possible you can develop post-traumatic stress disorder.

PTSD symptoms and a variety of mental health conditions can be treated with EMDR therapy, which is an evidence-based psychotherapy treatment that can greatly reduce the severity of your symptoms.

In recent years, this type of therapy has been found to be useful in the treatment of other disorders such as panic disorder, substance abuse, eating disorders, dissociative disorders, and disorders related to any type of trauma.

trauma therapy program in NJ utilizes EMDR therapy because it doesn’t require the use of medication, has few side effects, and is highly effective.

Mental health disorders impact 18.9% of American adults annually, with the prevalence of mental illness rising to 28.6% among adults ages 18 to 25. Mental health disorders cause changes to your cognition, judgment, and emotions.

While many people feel sad or anxious at times, when you struggle with a mental illness you experience more intense emotions that interfere with your daily life.

woman eye during edmr therapy

What is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy is a safe and highly successful treatment for PTSD. The first step in an EMDR therapy program in NJ is meeting with your therapist and sharing your history and symptoms. Your EMDR therapy provider will also take an assessment and share strategies that can help you deal with stress and triggers.

During an eye movement desensitization and reprocessing treatment session, a trained and licensed therapist will ask you to recall a traumatizing memory while completing a specific eye movement, such as rapidly moving your eyes from left to right. You will then openly identify all of the emotions and thoughts you had.

EMDR therapy can help you learn how to better cope with your symptoms and effectively deal with triggers. Another major benefit of EMDR therapy is that it can be utilized with other evidence-based and holistic treatments. EMDR therapy is also highly adaptable to your specific needs, making it a flexible and effective PTSD treatment.

An EMDR therapy session typically doesn’t last for more than one hour. After EMDR therapy sessions, your therapist will discuss your progress and key in on certain factors that will benefit your recovery.

What is PTSD?

While 60% of men and 50% of women witness or are exposed to a traumatic event, only 7-8% of people exposed to a traumatizing event develop PTSD.

In order to be diagnosed with PTSD, you have to experience symptoms for at least one continuous month following the trauma. Common signs and symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Nightmares about the traumatizing event
  • Having flashbacks and/or blackouts
  • Avoiding people, places, or things that remind you of the traumatizing event
  • Depression
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Insomnia

Nightmares can make it difficult to sleep, which can cause exhaustion and fatigue. Anxiety can lead to avoidant behavior, especially if loud noises or large crowds trigger your PTSD symptoms. Since PTSD can cause isolation, symptoms of depression are also common.

The longer PTSD symptoms remain untreated, the worse they can become. An EMDR therapy program alongside an outpatient mental health center in NJ can provide you with the support and help you need to manage your symptoms.

How Does EDMR Therapy Work?

EMDR therapy is customized to your specific trauma and needs. EMDR helps you access and process traumatic memories while bringing you to a healthy resolution.

This is done by addressing traumatizing memories while completing different eye movements, hand-tapping, and audio stimulations.

After recalling your memories, your EMDR therapist will ask you to discuss all of the emotions and thoughts you experienced during that time. The overall goal is to create new, positive associations with traumatic memories.

EMDR Therapy Follows a Three-Pronged Belief:

  1. Processing the past events that have laid the groundwork for dysfunction and forging new associative links with new information
  2. Targeting the current circumstances that elicit distress and desensitizing internal and external triggers
  3. Incorporating imagined templates of future events to help you acquire the skills needed to adapt to new associations

EMDR must be done by a trained therapist as it is a specialized type of therapy. Sessions last no more than one hour each and studies have shown that EMDR therapy can be very beneficial. It does not require the use of any medication, has few side effects, and is highly effective.

EMDR therapy addresses trauma by using an eight-phase treatment approach:

  • 1. History sessions

    Your therapist will learn about your trauma(s) and develop a treatment plan for you to follow. Initial treatment may focus on experiences from your childhood rather than those that have taken place as an adult.

  • 2. Coping techniques

    Here, your therapist will make sure you have the necessary tools available to help you handle emotional distress. Imagery and stress-reduction techniques might be provided that you can use between sessions.

  • 3-6. Target identified

    With EMDR, the target identified is something that triggers your PTSD. You will identify a vivid visual image related to your traumatic memory, a negative belief you may tell yourself, along with any related emotions and body sensations.

    You may also identify a positive belief as a way to regulate the intensity of the negative emotions associated with your memory. Stimulation techniques will then be introduced in these stages by way of eye movements, tapping, or sounds.

  • 7. Closure

    You may be asked to keep a journal/log throughout the week documenting any feelings, emotions, or thoughts that arise.

  • 8. Progress of examination

    This last and final stage is where you and your EMDR therapist will evaluate the progress you have made throughout your treatment.

Try EDMR Therapy with Victory Bay Today

If you are struggling with PTSD, you can feel frustrated, isolated, and alone. Symptoms can cause you to isolate from others or have difficulty managing healthy relationships. If PTSD remains untreated, symptoms can cause disabling effects, making early treatment imperative.

To find out more about our premier PTSD treatment program and EMDR therapy, call us today at 855.239.5099.