EDMR is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, new nontraditional method, of psychotherapy. The method has grown tremendously over the past years as a form of treatment for post traumatic stress disorders (PSTD). This is a stress disorder that occurs after experiences like rape, physical assault, car accidents, or military combat. This method of treatment has remained controversial among the health care professionals as studies continue to be undertaken of their effectiveness. The paper looks at the EDMR treatment of mental health, the processes of EDMR, and the effectiveness of the EDMR therapy treatment process.
EMDR approach is like the psychological way of treatment. The treatment does not depend on medication or talk therapy. However, EMDR employs the use of the patient’s rapid and rhythmic eye movements. The eye movements are the ones used as they diminish the power of the psychologically emotional reminiscences of a precedent traumatic incident. A person who suffers from PSTD can employ the use of EMDR treatment. The EMDR treatment sessions last up to about ninety minutes. This is done by a therapist who moves his fingers back and forth in front of the patient’s face. The therapist then asks the patient to follow the therapist’s hand motions with his or her eyes. As this is done by the EMDR therapist, the patient is asked to try and recollect the distressing episode. The treatment process includes the body sensations and emotions that accompany the process simultaneously (Ignacio & Susana, 2011, p. 163).
The therapist guides the patient gradually to shift his or her thoughts to more pleasurable memories. In some cases, the therapist can use musical tones, toe or hand tapping as an alternative to the finger movements for treatment process. The persons who have used the EMDR technique confess that the treatment process can weaken the negative emotions effect. The EMDR treatment process requires the therapist to ask the patient before and after the session to rate the levels of distress. This is done with hope and belief that the unsettling memories can become less disturbing. The EMDR treatment process has often been used in people with PSTD, but, the process can also be used in treating other psychological conditions. The EMDR treatment process can also be employed in other psychological troubles such as; addictions, eating disorders, panic attacks, and anxiety like discomfort in dental procedures or public speaking.
The EDMR Treatment Process
EDMR treatment process has several phases. However, the time needed to complete treatment depends on the history of the client. The treatment involves three stages that include; precedent memories, present disturbance, and future actions. These pronged protocols are needed in alleviating the symptoms and addressing the problems. EMDR therapy goal is, to totally process, the experiences that cause the disturbances and include new memories that are needed for full health. The processing involves setting up the earning state that allows experiences that cause problems to be solved and installed accordingly in the brain. The experiences that are useful are learned and stored plus the necessary emotions in the brain (The New York Times, 2009). This helps in guiding a person into positive situations in the future. Beliefs, emotions, and body sensations that are inappropriate are discarded from the brain. The negative behaviors, feelings, and emotions are caused by the unresolved earlier experiences that push a person to the wrong directions. EMDR goal therapy, therefore, is to leave a person with the perspectives, understanding, and emotions that lead to useful and health interactions and behavior.
The beginning of the therapy takes about 1-2 sessions. This can continue for some time if new problems are discovered during the therapy. The first phase of EDMR treatment involves getting the history of the client and developing a treatment plan (Emre, Hejan, Yunus & Asena, 2011, p. 169). The preparation phase follows, which takes about 1-4 sessions. Other patients may need longer periods like those who have traumatized backgrounds. The stage helps in establishing the relationship trust amid the counselor and the patient. The psychotherapist explains to the patient the theory of EDMR and techniques of calming the disturbing emotions. In the assessment phase, the therapist processes and identifies the unsettling emotions. The patient is expected to identify the disturbing problem and positive statements are developed for the client. The reprocessing on the given events is done as comprehensive treatment is developed. The therapy involves the use of tones, taps, and eye movements. This should involve a step by step procedure so as to maximize on the treatment effects on the patient in a standardized and logical manner. This allows the therapist, and the patient to scrutinize the improvement of the healing session.
The patients distressing sensations and emotions are measured using the SUD ratings. The responses of the patients such as; other insights, memories, ad associations are monitored. Similar events are also monitored and resolved. The desensitization phase requires the therapist to lead the patient in the set of eye movements and other methods of stimulation. This is done with the changes and shift using the SUD scale levels. The positive belief of the patient is then strengthened and increased to replace the negative beliefs. The positive cognition is significant in this phase of treatment. A patient should be told that learning new skills like self defense are essential in controlling future incidences. This will increase the positive belief in the patient. The treatment success is considered in the reevaluation stage. Antibiotics can be given to complete the treatment using EDMR therapy.
Various research and studies have been undertaken on the effectiveness of EDMR treatment on mental problems. Many health care practitioners have been skilled on how to apply the EMDR treatment process since the technique was developed. The EMDR method was developed in 1989 by Francine Shapiro who was a psychologist. She developed the technique, while, she was walking one day through the woods. Shapiro noticed that her depressing emotions reduced as her eyes darted from side to side. She employed this in patients and found that the same positive effects happened to them.
The EDMR process is a safe therapy as there are no known negative side effects. The technique has seen relative increase in use, but, still some mental health practitioners are debating on the effectiveness. The argument is that EDMR research has been on a small number of patients. In addition, some researchers have shown the EDMR treatment effectiveness. The researches have gone ahead to consolidate data and publish reports on the studies. The EDMR credibility has been boosted by the guidelines that are given by professional organizations.
The guidelines stipulate those that are to benefit from the EDMR treatment. The guidelines indicate that EMDR is effective for treating symptoms of chronic and acute PTSD. This can help, in research, to check whether there are improvements and if further research is needed in the future (Timothy & Derek, 2011 p. 178). In addition, the military recommends the use of EMDR for the treatment of PTSD in on-military and military personnel. The approach is considered effective in comparison to the other psychological treatments and studies are still being undertaken.
The EDMR treatment produces results rapidly when compared to the other forms of therapy. The speed of the treatment is not that significant as each patient has different needs. A patient can take several weeks to develop levels of trust as in stages of the treatment. Other patients can proceed quickly in the phases of treatment in revealing the problems. This can be significant in the needs of the treatment. The EMDR therapy treatment is complete only after a focus has been done on the precedent memories that cause the problems. In addition, the current situations that are disconcerting need to be unraveled. The patient should be given skills that are needed for future encounters. This is when the EDMR therapy treatment is considered complete.
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