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What is EMDR? What are the benefits of EMDR?

What is EMDR? What are the benefits of EMDR?

EMDR therapy is quickly gaining recognition as an effective form of treatment for trauma and PTSD. Reputable organizations like the World Health Organization, Department of Defense, and American Psychiatric Association have recognized the effectiveness of EMDR therapy for trauma patients. EMDR therapy is also being used to treat problems like panic attacks, anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.

Kaiser Permanente Insurance typically covers this highly effective form of treatment. Companies like Westside Behavioral Care provide EMDR therapy through locations in cities like Arvada, Aurora, Denver, Lakewood, Littleton, and Westminister.

What exactly is EMDR therapy?

Green eye closeupIn simple terms, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is psychotherapy that allows people to recover from the emotional pain caused by difficult life events. Kaiser Permanente Insurance understands the importance of mental health and typically provides coverage for the treatment of mental health issues using EMDR.

EMDR therapy targets the memory associated with the traumatic event. It changes the way the memory is recalled by the patient. This relieves the difficult symptoms associated with memory. The goal is to remove the negative feelings caused by difficult events and allow the mind to have closure. As the name suggests, eye movement is the main focus of this treatment. Taps or other movements may also be used varying on a case by case basis. The goal of EDMR therapy is to reduce the pain and vividness associated with painful events.

What does the EMDR procedure look like?

EDMR is individual therapy. The process itself is typically carried out over 8 phases and routinely involves several sessions. Sessions may be scheduled as often as 1-2 times per week. Some people may choose to space them out over months. In severe cases, the sessions can be completed over consecutive days. Kaiser Permanente Insurance allows clients to complete the sessions they need without adding financial strain.

  • Phase 1

In this phase, the therapist collects a detailed account of the client’s personal history. This includes understanding the events and circumstances surrounding the event being addressed. This phase is critical in determining if EMDR is indeed a good treatment option.

  • Phase 2

The therapist teaches the client multiple ways of handling stress. Deep breathing, mindfulness, and other techniques enable the client to maintain balance during the EMDR sessions.

  • Phases 3-6

These are the crucial phases where the therapist and client address the events in the client’s life which are causing distress. The client is asked to recall the visual imagery they associate with the event. The client is then asked to focus on the negative thoughts, memories, or images associated with the event. During the recall, the client follows specific eye movements while focusing on the negative memory. Along with eye movements, the sessions may also include taps or audio stimulation.

After the recall session, the client is asked to clear their mind and focus on the new thoughts arising in the mind. The thoughts that arise may influence the following sessions. This pattern is repeated for every session. If a client has difficulty with one specific memory, it may be addressed again in future sessions. This cycle continues until the client can recall the event without any distress.

  • Phase 7

In this phase, the client is asked to keep a record of any feelings or instance where the memory arises unexpectedly during the week. Keeping the memory record may require using the calming techniques learned previously.

  • Phase 8

This final phase of treatment is reflection on the progress made so far. This phase also looks at any new distress or issues that may have developed recently. Additional distress may be addressed by starting the EMDR process again.

What are the benefits of EDMR therapy?

Sign that reads "self care isn't selfish"After a series of successful EDMR therapy sessions, there is an emotional transformation in the way the person views the previously stressful events in their life. This new view comes from the change in the person’s perspective. It’s an empowering feeling. EMDR therapy does not involve extensive conversations or repeated practice like other methods of therapy.

EDMR therapy also promotes discovery and cognitive insights while processing emotional distress. The benefits of EDMR therapy may help address to future distressful events as well. EDMR therapy may heal emotional wounds faster than other forms of therapy. EDMR may also be safer than medications that can have unpleasant side effects.

Your Kaiser Permanente insurance could help you discover the benefits of EDMR. There is a wide variety of plans which cover EMDR treatment.