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Could EMDR help people with disabling trauma?

There are many people who qualify for disability benefits due to psychological and physical trauma. Someone who has post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions may struggle to work while trying to maintain their health.

One of the potential solutions could be a therapy called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, or EMDR. This is a relatively new technique. It was introduced in 1987 and has been growing in popularity as it shows that it may have benefits in as little as six to 12 sessions.

Understanding the possibilities with EMDR

EMDR is interesting because it is based on the theory that past disturbing experiences will continue to cause distress today if the memory was not processed adequately. Without the right processing, the memory may recur and trigger the same emotions, thoughts, physical sensations and beliefs that a person had at the time that the trauma occurred.

The unique aspect of EMDR is that it focuses on the memory itself rather than altering the symptoms of the trauma. The treatment is intended to change how the memory is stored, which would reduce the symptoms that patients go through when the memory is recalled.

How does EMDR work?

During therapy, the use of eye movements and rhythmic stimulation helps prevent the memory from triggering a physical or emotional response. There is an aspect of desensitization that occurs, helping reduce the impact of the memory when it is recalled.

These sessions can take place on consecutive days, so in as little as six days of consecutive treatment, it’s possible to see results. In fact, some patients may see results even sooner than that based on the trauma and how severe its impact is.

This is just one option that is used for people with PTSD and other mental health disorders that cause them to have physical and emotional responses to memories of trauma. It may not work for everyone, but it is helpful for some patients. This is something that you may want to consider if you’re living with a disabling mental health disorder that may benefit from memory reprocessing.