EMDR from a Staff Perspective

EMDR definition graphic

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of psychotherapy that Trinity offers their clients. A client will go through sessions of EMDR with a therapist in a safe place, where they hear a beeping sound go from one ear to another. This process was created for patients with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) by a woman named Francine Shapiro.

How EMDR works

EMDR initiates a response in the brain that helps a person remember certain memories that are painful or forgotten, and ultimately helps to relieve stress and anxiety in daily life. When going through EMDR, a person will go through many emotions, which is highly exhausting. Before the processing of memories, the therapist will ask what emotion the client is feeling, and will follow up again after the processing is complete.

Generally, the client feels immediate relief from certain memories or moments in their past. This can be mentally exhausting, scary, and even physically draining, as it takes a lot of strength and energy to tackle difficult topics in EMDR. Afterwards, they will feel even better than they thought, though. Their normal state of depression and anxiety will be lessened, and life will get easier as they heal.

How EMDR affects the patient

When healing, EMDR will bring a person to a very low state of mind, bringing up memories that were most likely forgotten for a reason. However, slowly, they will rise to a state of mind that is relieved and comfortable again. In the end, EMDR brings a person to an even clearer and better state of mind than when they started, as it was originally designed.

How to help someone through EMDR

When a person is going through EMDR, they need a lot of encouragement from friends and family that what they are going through is valid and that their low energy level is understandable. This does not mean that anyone is excused from daily activities, and many adults go about their way while processing through EMDR. However, this means that they are using a lot of mental energy, and affirmation that what they are going through is worth it will help encourage someone to work hard and heal.

At Trinity Teen Solutions, young women are given the opportunity to process information through EMDR, while in a safe environment that focuses on therapy. The field staff understand the different emotions that EMDR brings, and will get to know each client to best help and encourage them in their daily activities, while they process and resolve difficult information that helps them heal.