I am grateful to have received the opportunity to be trained in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy while working with Clackamas County. The importance of this opportunity is the County’s commitment to getting therapeutic services including neurofeedback and EMDR to our most rural and underserved, for the empowerment and enrichment of our clients, and the strengthening of their community.
EMDR offers a very dynamic complement to Cognitive Behavioral, Dialectical Behavioral, Motivational Interviewing, Acceptance and Commitment, as well as other therapies because it has the versatility to be used as a central nervous system reinforcement for positive behaviors as well as a desensitizing or reprocessing tool.
Benefits of Treatment
This treatment has shown significant results, in my experience, with three main categories of presenting concerns all of which are trauma related: those suffering from trauma, anxiety, and/or substance use disorders.
For those with trauma, the holding of safe silences, reintegration of body and mind, and finding their own voice is often a phenomenological experience changing the entire construct of one’s way of interacting with their world, creating new neuropathways, and behavior opportunities—a great source of personal empowerment. Persons in all three of these categories discover new ways of self-regulating to three-fold increased consciousness of thoughts, body, and emotions.
EMDR also offers strong therapeutic silence, validation, and belief in the individual’s ability, creating a new empowerment neuropathway and a lifelong tool for the individual.
Persons suffering from substance use disorder can reduce cravings and can increase positive awareness of the body’s ability to produce chemicals of joy and well-being. This gives my clients insight into the value of depending on the body to produce positive chemicals based on behaviors, rather than consumption, depending on externals for validation and mood.
Based on feedback in my practice the greatest gift EMDR gives individuals, cross-culturally, is entering into their reality and their truth, saying it aloud, hearing themselves say it, and living the experience in their bodies, which often may lead to significant changes. The second gift is the integration of emotional and cognitive mind around areas of work, which creates a greater balanced perspective and sense of power and freedom in the individuals served.