Can EMDR traumatize you? (2023)

Can EMDR make you feel worse?

As I tell my clients, EMDR can make things more painful following a session, especially if you are working on a new painful splinter. What's important to remember is that this is all part of the healing process; even if things get worse for a moment that moment will not last and you will be better than before.

(Video) EMDR for Complex PTSD (Does it Help or Hurt?)
(Barbara Heffernan)
Does EMDR release trauma?

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a mental health treatment technique. This method involves moving your eyes a specific way while you process traumatic memories. EMDR's goal is to help you heal from trauma or other distressing life experiences.

(Video) Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) for PTSD
(Veterans Health Administration)
Is it normal to feel anxious after EMDR?

You may find that you have vivid dreams about the experience and or notice yourself feeling more emotional than usual. You may also notice sensations in your body after the first few sessions. This is perfectly normal as your brain continues to make sense of the experience after each processing session.

(Video) 6 ways to heal trauma without medication | Bessel van der Kolk | Big Think
(Big Think)
When should you not use EMDR?

Because stability must come first, you don't use EMDR to process trauma when a patient is actively abusively using alcohol, drugs, or something to help them feel less. You can't effectively practice EMDR phases 3 – 8 with someone who has yet to experience a safe, trusting relationship.

(Video) Self-Guided EMDR Therapy: The Risks of Retraumatization
(Phoenix Trauma Center & Dr. Scott Giacomucci)
Can EMDR trigger psychosis?

Evidence for reductions in auditory hallucinations and paranoid thinking was mixed. No adverse events were reported, although initial increases in psychotic symptoms were observed in two studies. Average dropout rates across the studies were comparable to other trauma-focused treatments for PTSD.

(Video) Eye Movement May Be Able To Heal Our Traumas | Tricia Walsh | TEDxUCDavisSF
(TEDx Talks)
Why is EMDR so controversial?

EMDR therapy is a trauma therapy that is sometimes considered controversial. The reasons someone might think it is a controversial therapy option are the potential adverse side effects and the lack of long-term research. EMDR is safe and effective, but there are some risks associated with the therapy.

(Video) EMDR: 3 things I wish I'd known before I started trauma therapy
(Pooky Knightsmith Mental Health)
Who is not a good candidate for EMDR?

If you're emotions feel overwhelming or if you tend to shut down when you feel an emotion you may not be ready for EMDR treatment. EMDR therapy relies on your body and mind's ability to process through your thoughts and feelings. If you're unable to process in that way, EMDR therapy may not be effective.

(Video) EMDR: Getting Over Past Trauma for Good
(AmenClinic)
What does EMDR do to the brain?

“EMDR Therapy changes maladaptive neural networks by connecting the traumatic memory with new information. The distressing thoughts and emotions are blended with new positive thoughts and emotions; embodied awareness allows frozen sensations in the body to resolve through healing movements.”

(Video) EMDR: the weirdest therapy I've ever had
(Yo Samdy Sam)
How do you feel after EMDR?

Generally, it's common to feel lighter and less weighed down after going through EMDR. The problem that brought you to therapy often feels less significant, and old triggers won't have their usual effect. You'll likely find that you are no longer scared or anxious about things that once bothered you.

(Video) How to Process Trauma [EMDR techniques]
(MedCircle)
Why is EMDR so exhausting?

So after an EMDR session, you can probably expect to feel quite tired. The eye movements and the reprocessing involved is reported by many patients to be exhausting. Typically, in weeks between EMDR sessions you will experience new and unusual thoughts, often dreams.

(Video) Childhood Trauma, Psychedelics & EMDR | Dr Bessel van der Kolk
(How To Academy Mindset)

Is it normal to cry after EMDR session?

After EMDR some clients feel a bit vulnerable or teary the next day. This is rare but understandable as you have processed something that has dominated your mental health for a long time. These feelings mostly pass within a day or two, and if they don't, your therapist will have processes to help you get through this.

(Video) Dr. Daniel Amen Discusses Trauma / EMDR Training
(AmenClinic)
Can EMDR cause false memories?

The GGZ views EMDR to be one of the best trauma treatments at this time, it does have an awkward side effect: it can elicit false memories. This appeared from the PhD research by Maastricht forensic psychologist Sanne Houben.

Can EMDR traumatize you? (2023)
What is the success rate of EMDR?

Several studies have shown that Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is incredibly effective for those suffering from PTSD, with some showing as much as a 77% success rate.

How do you know if EMDR has worked?

If EMDR is working, a person should feel relieved after just a couple of sessions. The traumatic memory will start to be desensitized and will at the very least be less emotionally distressing.

Is EMDR a form of hypnosis?

EMDR allows you to maintain a dual focus by addressing your beliefs in a more positive manner while dealing with problematic memories. The most fundamental difference is that EMDR does not induce the trance-like state attributed to hypnosis.

Can EMDR cause nightmares?

24) You might have a bad dream or two

EMDR Therapy jars your memories, and that often transfers over to your dreams. As part of the process, you may have an occasional scary dream, and often those dreams can be about the bad things that happened in the past. But don't worry, it's totally temporary.

Can you reverse EMDR?

The Reverse Protocol is about a beginning therapy by reprocessing future targets before present triggers and past events. Treatment begins with identifying a positive future and the negative cognitions about why the client cannot consider the future and/or does not entertain a future free of symptoms.

What are the 8 stages of EMDR?

EMDR is an eight-phase treatment method. History taking, client preparation, assessment, desensitization, installation, body scan, closure and reevaluation of treatment effect are the eight phases of this treatment which are briefly described.

Does EMDR make PTSD worse?

Can EMDR Treatment Make You Feel Worse? Yes. Many of us cope by using the only method we have; avoidance. Because thinking, talking and reflecting on things makes us feel uncomfortable, we can make ourselves feel better in the moment by ignoring or minimizing our distress.

Does EMDR not work for some people?

It has been found to be not as effective in patients who have experience childhood trauma. Dr. Van Der Kolk suggests EMDR doesn't work as well in children because of the mental and biological changes that occur in children who experience chronic child abuse.

Is EMDR permanent?

EMDR therapy is effective in children, adolescents, and adults. It has been proven effective in reducing the chronic symptoms that follow trauma. Perhaps most importantly, the therapy benefits appear to be permanent.

How long does it take for EMDR to work?

Each individual reacts differently to EMDR therapy, but as a general rule, a typical session will last anywhere between 60-90 minutes. Getting to the bottom of a traumatic memory and completely rewiring your brain can take anywhere between three to twelve sessions.

How many sessions of EMDR will I need?

EMDR is an individual therapy typically delivered one to two times per week for a total of 6-12 sessions, although some people benefit from fewer sessions. Sessions can be conducted on consecutive days.

Is EMDR good for anxiety?

EMDR therapy is an effective treatment option for people suffering from anxiety, panic, PTSD, or trauma. It's a way to get past your past. EMDR is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma.

Can EMDR cause flashbacks?

This enables the patient to finally process a traumatic memory and replace it with a more positive image. Thanks to EMDR, you will have a sense of closure — no more triggers, no more flashbacks. All of this in just six to 20 sessions!

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