Treatment for PTSD and the effects of trauma can be tricky. Most of the therapy and medications available are designed to help you cope with the symptoms of PTSD, but they don’t really address the root of it.
When you have lived through violence and trauma, it changes your brain. You are haunted by the memories and your body and mind prepare itself for more trauma and violence. This creates the anxiety, sleep troubles, irritability, and other symptoms that go along with PTSD. While treating those symptoms can be life saving for some people, and help others live a more normal life, we shouldn’t neglect treating the underlying memories.
But how do you treat a memory?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, is a clinically proven method for processing and reforging your memories to help you deal with PTSD. It’s so powerful, that 100% of single trauma sufferers and 77% of multiple trauma sufferers were no longer diagnosed with PTSD after just 6 sessions! And even 77% of combat soldiers were no longer diagnosed with PTSD after 12 sessions. That’s powerful stuff!
So exactly is what is EMDR?
Basically, EMDR uses the patient’s rapid rhythmic eye movement to dampen the memories connected with the trauma. The eye movement is believed to tap into the same brain processes as dreams and allows the brain to rewire itself.
The steps involved can be daunting, but the end result can cure you of your PTSD. First, the trauma is visualized and brought to the surface and all negative emotions around it are identified and processed. Once this is done, those negative emotions are replaced by positive ones. For example, a rape victim may work on replacing feelings of fear and disgust with a feeling of empowerment and the idea that “I am strong and I survived.” This process isn’t instant and takes several sessions, but for most people, EMDR can be the end of their PTSD.