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What are the benefits of EMDR therapy compared with other treatments?

EMDR therapy is different from other trauma-focused treatments, primarily because it does not rely on talk therapy or medications. Here are some of the key benefits of EMDR when compared to other therapeutic modalities:

  1. Efficiency: One of the most significant advantages of EMDR is its potential to bring about quick progress in many clients. While traditional therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), can also be effective for trauma, they often require more sessions to deal with traumatic memories. EMDR is structured to achieve results relatively quickly, which can be particularly advantageous for clients suffering from PTSD and other stress-related disorders.

  2. Less reliance on verbalization: EMDR does not require a client to talk in detail about the distressing memory, which can be a relief to those who may find recounting traumatic events verbally retraumatizing or difficult. This can be especially beneficial for clients who struggle with articulating their experiences or who become overwhelmed by their emotions when discussing traumatic events.

  3. Direct targeting of memory processing: EMDR focuses on changing the emotions, thoughts, and behaviors resulting from disturbed processing of traumatic or other distressing life experiences. It aims to allow the brain to resume its natural healing process. EMDR therapy is designed to activate this natural healing process through bilateral stimulation (typically eye movements), which is thought to be linked to the biological mechanisms involved in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.

  4. Holistic approach to symptoms: EMDR is not only used for PTSD but also for a variety of other psychological issues, including anxiety, depression, and panic disorders. It addresses the physiological storage of memory and how it informs experience, which may lead to more comprehensive treatment outcomes across various symptoms and conditions.

  5. Potential for fewer traumatic stress reactions: Because EMDR does not typically involve detailed discussions of the traumatic event, it can sometimes prevent the client from experiencing heightened stress responses during therapy. This can make it easier for individuals who are highly sensitive to reliving traumatic experiences.

  6. Adaptive perspective and skills: EMDR helps create an adaptive cognitive and emotional understanding of the traumatic events, which can lead to enhanced coping mechanisms and a reduction in trauma-induced symptoms and behaviors.

  7. Broad applicability: Although initially developed for PTSD, research has shown that EMDR can be effective for treating other psychological issues, thus providing a versatile tool in a therapist’s repertoire.

It's important to note that the effectiveness of EMDR can vary depending on the individual and their specific issues. As with any therapy, what works well for one person might not be as effective for another. Additionally, the efficacy of EMDR and the mechanisms by which it works are subjects of ongoing research and sometimes debate within the psychological community. Please consult with Mike to determine the best therapeutic approach for your specific needs.


ncs mike ward

vitl london anxiety clinic