One of my passions is working with trauma. An effective therapy tool for working with trauma is EMDR and as of this weekend I am formally trained in EMDR! EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy is a technique created to alleviate distress associated with traumatic memories and adverse life experiences.
During EMDR therapy the client undergoes bilateral stimulation while referencing a traumatic memory ultimately to diminish distress, reduce physiological arousal, and reformulate negative beliefs. You may ask, what is bilateral stimulation? Bilateral stimulation is stimuli (auditory, visual, or tactile) that occurs in a smooth, rhythmic-like left to right pattern. For example, visual bilateral stimulation often consists of clients following a therapists finger movements from the left to right side of the body.
Bilateral stimulation provides: 1) thought flexibility 2) decreased worry 3) decreased physiological arousal 4) distancing effect (problem seems smaller and more distant/harder to access).
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SF Therapist, originally an East Coast native. I lived and worked in NYC for many years in social justice non-profits. My mental health career started on Rape Crisis and Suicide Prevention hotlines. I've now been in the mental health field for 10 years. Check out my stories on Instagram at @therapywithcatharine!