Can EMDR Assist Conditions Beyond PTSD?

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Man thinking in therapy session

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may include symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, depression, confusion, irritability, and more. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a form of therapy in which a client is guided through various eye movements to help them reprocess traumatic memories in a way that allows the person to move past the event. EMDR has been used widely for symptoms of PTSD, but there are other conditions that it may treat as well.

EMDR helps people focus on strengthening their positive beliefs that they wish to adopt rather than focusing heavily on thoughts or memories that are hurting them and preventing them from moving forward with their lives. A 2015 study published in the journal of Brain Behavior sought to explore EMDR’s success with the treatment of depression; a group of 16 patients diagnosed with depression were recruited for the study. Compared to another group of 16 individuals who served as a comparison group, 68% of individuals with depression no longer met the criteria for depression by the end of the study. A follow up period of longer than 1 year was conducted, and many participants still showed less signs of depression and relapses than their counterparts. It seems that EMDR can assist with more than just depression, however.

Another study published in 2016 in the journal Psychological Medicine explored how EMDR could help treat psychosis, depression, and social functioning in those with varying levels of schizophrenia. One hundred and fifty-five participants in treatment for psychosis with either schizophrenic disorder or schizoaffective disorder were randomly placed in sessions of 8-week long EMDR treatment or a waiting list to serve as a comparison group. The researchers found that of the participants who completed EMDR sessions, significant reductions were experienced in paranoid thoughts and depression directly after treatment and even 6-months later. Hallucinations and social functioning did not improve nor worsen, however.

Much research is still being conducted to find out all of the ways that EMDR can assist clients, but as you can see, it can treat more than just PTSD. If you believe you may be a suitable candidate for treatment and EMDR therapy, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today. It’s never too late to seek the help you need.

Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.

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