Who Is a Good Candidate for EMDR Therapy?
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a unique type of psychotherapy that uses rapid, rhythmic eye movements to relieve psychological stress. EMDR involves recalling traumatic events while engaging in a series of rapid, rhythmic eye movements, which is thought to reduce the psychological response to the distressing memories.
EMDR therapy is most commonly used in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, it may also be beneficial for individuals with anxiety, panic attacks, eating disorders, or addictions. It is a medication-free treatment option that can be used alone or in conjunction with medication treatment.
For individuals with PTSD, EMDR therapy may be most effective for individuals who have trouble thinking or speaking about the traumatic events that have occurred. Individuals with PTSD related to military experience may be particularly good candidates for EMDR therapy.
Recent research suggests that chronic pain may involve changes in the brain and nervous system that are similar to the changes seen with PTSD, so EMDR may also be an effective therapy for individuals with chronic pain. EMDR therapy for chronic pain involves focusing on pain-related memories or current pain sensations while engaging in rapid eye movements. Focusing on these thoughts while engaging in rapid eye movements may reduce pain intensity. However, further research regarding the use of EMDR therapy for the treatment of chronic pain is needed.