Olympus Recovery offers Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR therapy) as part of a comprehensive treatment program. This therapy aims to help patients better cope with traumatic memories to help treat mental disorders.

EMDR is usually used alongside other mental health and recovery techniques. It’s particularly helpful for patients who believe their memories are affecting their mental functioning and coping skills.

What is EMDR?

Developed in the 1980s, EMDR is relatively new, but it’s proven effective and is recognized by several respected organizations, including the World Health Organization.

Experts aren’t exactly sure why EMDR is successful, but some research indicates that EMDR is loosely connected with Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. The theory is that while a patient processes disturbing memories, the brain naturally associates certain emotions with the memories. EMDR trains the patient’s brain to replace these negative feelings with more positive thoughts instead.

EMDR isn’t recommended for every patient. Instead, a primary therapist performs an assessment to determine whether it’s appropriate for each individual. If the patient doesn’t seem to be affected by traumatic memories or possesses sufficient coping skills, other therapies may be more effective. However, it’s helpful and effective for many patients, particularly those suffering from PTSD.

What are the benefits of EMDR?

Many clients feel empowered with EMDR. Traumatic events once controlled their thoughts, consistently pushing negative emotions, but EMDR helps reframe these memories into positive ones instead.

Perhaps more importantly, EMDR isn’t a particularly difficult or invasive therapy. There’s no lengthy homework, and the treatment works quickly when compared to other similar therapies.

The EMDR Treatment Process

EMDR has eight phases.

  1. First, the therapist assesses the client during the initial session. The goal is to gauge the depth of trauma and number of traumatic events that need processing as well as the patient’s ability to process negative emotions. Sometimes the therapist starts EMDR processing at this point, particularly if there’s one single event that’s causing distress for the patient.
  2. In Phase 2, the therapist provides stress-relieving strategies that the patient may use daily. This may include visual imagery and other techniques.
  3. During Phase 3, the patient names a memory and describes the mental images they associate with that memory. They also describe the emotions and physical sensations they feel as well as any negative beliefs they have associated with the memory.
  4. Phases 4 through 7 may occur together or in stages. At this point, the therapist helps the patient find a positive belief associated with the memory. The patient thinks of the memory while using EMDR processing techniques, such as eye movements or tapping. Once complete, the therapist will again ask the patient to think of the memory and describe any negative thoughts, feelings, or sensations associated with the memory. If the memory still causes distress, the therapist may ask the patient to repeat the EMDR processing techniques. At the end of the session, the therapist may review coping strategies to help reduce stress for the patient in everyday life.
  5. Finally, Phase 8 occurs at the start of the next session. At this point, the therapist reviews the memory from the last session. The patient recalls the memory and describes any negative awareness. If the memory has been successfully reframed into a positive experience, the process moves to the next memory. Otherwise, the steps are repeated until the treatment is successful.

Olympus Recovery’s Treatment Program

Olympus Recovery believes in developing a patient-centered treatment program that targets the therapies that are most beneficial for each person. If you believe EMDR may be helpful, please let us know. Our helpful, compassionate staff members are here to answer your questions and help you start your recovery journey. 

The first step may be the hardest, but we are here to help you every step of the way. Contact us here or give us a call at 866-305-7134 to learn more about our EMDR therapy program.


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For immediate help call us confidentially at (866) 305-7134. Our admissions specialists can answer all your questions, and put you on the road to recovery.

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