Would You Benefit from EMDR Therapy in Chicago?

Wednesday, 07 September 2022 15:55 Written by

Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an innovative—yet time-tested— treatment option for many individuals. This type of therapy has become increasingly popular since the 1990s because of its effectiveness in treating trauma and reducing symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you’re looking for an effective alternative treatment to traditional talk therapy, EMDR therapy in Chicago could be right for you.

At Wellington Counseling Group, we practice EMDR therapy on a regular basis when appropriate for our clients. We can help you determine if EMDR therapy is the appropriate treatment for your needs.

A Few Ways EMDR Therapy in Chicago Can Benefit You

In many cases of PTSD, co-occurring disorders can be present. These additional conditions can cause a wide range of problems in your daily life. Some of the most common conditions and symptoms associated with PTSD and/or trauma include:

• Anxiety

• Depression

• Insomnia

• Irritability

• Anger

• Flashbacks

• Hypervigilance

• Avoidance

• Suicidal thoughts

• And more

EMDR is an effective treatment for people who have experienced traumatic events such as sexual assault, physical abuse, or war. The therapy works by helping the patient to process their memories of the event through a series of eye movement exercises and other related techniques. The goal is to help patients overcome the negative emotions, cognitions, and the distressing bodily sensations that they associate with their memory.

EMDR is typically used in conjunction with psychotherapy, but it can also be practiced as a stand-alone treatment, in the hands of certified clinicians. In fact, many therapists use it as part of their standard practice. If you’ve been diagnosed with PTSD, your therapist may recommend this form of therapy. In many cases, EMDR can assist with the co-occurring conditions and symptoms that one might experience with PTSD.

Trauma has been defined in many ways and is now used quite frequently. Ultimately the definitions of trauma rely on a person’s perspective, so what is traumatic to some, may not be to others. We can measure this by what happens on a physiological level. While PTSD is a prime example of this, EMDR has proven to be effective for various forms of trauma resulting in many other presentations and symptoms.

How Does EMDR Work?

EMDR is a type of psychotherapy that was developed in the 1970s by Dr. Francine Shapiro and has been used to treat trauma, anxiety, depression, phobias, OCD, eating disorders, and more. As the name implies, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) relies on eye movements paired with positive stimuli to overcome symptoms.

There are eight phases within Shapiro’s Adaptive Information Processing model that supports the EMDR framework. These phases include collecting client history, preparation to give the client a sense of safety, assessment of target areas, desensitization, installation, body scan, closure, and reevaluation.

The basic idea behind EMDR is to help the patient re-experience the traumatic event while at the same time softening the emotional impact of the experience through processing together. During the session, the patient will focus on one thing at a time. As the patient focuses on each sensation, his or her brain begins to release hormonal chemicals called endorphins. One explanation for why it is effective is that these chemicals reduce pain and discomfort, which helps the patient feel better during and after their sessions.

The patient then moves on to another aspect of the experience with the clinician’s guidance. This process continues until the traumatic memory evokes little-to-no distress to which it has been fully processed. The overall goal is to get the patient to the point that they feel emotionally stable and ready, and then can recall the memory without experiencing any negative feelings.

What Are Some of the Benefits of EMDR Therapy?

When someone suffers from PTSD, he or she often feels overwhelmed by the memories of the traumatic event(s). They may also struggle with intrusive thoughts, nightmares, flashbacks, and panic attacks. With EMDR therapy, these issues can be addressed effectively.

Here are some of the top benefits of EMDR therapy:

• It can help people recover from PTSD

• It can help reduce symptoms for those who suffer from chronic PTSD

• It can improve sleep patterns

• It can help decrease suicidal ideation

• It can help with anger management

• And more

Anyone who has suffered from a traumatic event is a good candidate for EMDR therapy. However, if you’re struggling with PTSD, it’s important to talk to your doctor about whether this therapy would benefit you.

Why Choose Wellington for EMDR Therapy in Chicago?

Wellington Counseling Group consists of a team of therapists and counselors of different backgrounds, credentials, and specialties. We're able to provide the most comprehensive and compassionate mental healthcare services for all kinds of people. This includes services and programs designed to help people deal with the stresses of an ever-changing world.

It’s an unfortunate fact of our times, but the incidence of people who’ve experienced a traumatic event - especially in a metropolitan area like Chicago - is growing every year. According to Sinai Urban Health Institute (SUHI), up to 25% of people in Chicago communities may be struggling with symptoms of PTSD. That's why we are here to help.

Through traditional counseling and EMDR treatments, we can help you address the root causes of your PTSD symptoms and help you find the relief you’re looking for.

Schedule an appointment today and start your journey to wellness with EMDR therapy in Chicago.