At Agoura Hills Counseling, EMDR Therapy is one of the primary models of treatment that we provide for trauma therapy. We offer EMDR Therapy for clients suffering from PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other related issues. Some of our clients have tried different forms of therapy in the past — what we will refer to as “talk therapy” models — and come to us saying that it was nice but it was not particularly helpful. Sometimes, unfortunately, people have felt even worse just talking about their history of trauma with a previous therapist, with no resolution of what happened to them.
EMDR Therapy is very structured and has particular procedures, protocols, and goals. The purpose of this trauma therapy is to help clients reprocess memories of painful experiences, traumas, and stressful life events that they have endured, which are negatively impacting their lives in some way in the present.
EMDR Therapy does not involve simply talking at length about what happened for the client, or recounting details of the traumatic events. In fact, clients don’t really have to tell much of the story of their trauma at all with this type of trauma therapy. Many clients find this relieving, because talking about what has happened to them can be very painful and overwhelming.
The focus is instead on allowing the brain to reprocess the traumatic memories while following some type of bilateral stimulation, or dual attention stimulus (for example, watching a light go across a light bar from left to right). It is believed that this bilateral stimulation, or dual attention stimulus, allows the client to access a deeper part of the brain, deeper than we go when we simply just use language to talk about trauma. It may be hard to believe, but this procedure helps the brain access a natural healing capacity that does not require many words.
Trauma therapy is not easy, but it is so incredibly important for people with a history of trauma to access treatment that is actually effective at resolving the traumatic memories. Talk therapy is just not sufficient for this, even though it can be supportive for people.
For more information about EMDR Therapy, visit https://www.emdria.org/.