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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy: Healing from Trauma, Anxiety and more in New Jersey

Are you struggling with anxiety, depression, or disturbing memories from a past experience?  Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy may be a powerful tool for healing and moving forward.  EMDR is a widely researched and increasingly popular form of psychotherapy that can help you address the root causes of emotional distress.

This page provides an overview of EMDR therapy, including its benefits, how it works, and what to expect during treatment.  We're here to help you find relief and build a brighter future. Our practice is conveniently located in New Jersey and accepts patients from nearby areas. Frank Thewes LCSW is an EMDRIA-trained EMDR practitioner. 

What is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It's an integrative psychotherapy approach that helps people heal from emotional distress caused by disturbing life experiences.  While initially used for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), EMDR therapy has become effective in treating a variety of conditions, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Phobias
  • Panic attacks
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Grief and loss
  • Pain management
  • Body dysmorphia

How Does EMDR Therapy Work?

EMDR therapy works through a guided process that helps you revisit disturbing memories in a safe and controlled environment.  While focusing on the memory, you'll engage in bilateral stimulation, which can involve eye movements, tapping, or auditory tones.  This bilateral stimulation is thought to help your brain process the memory in a new and healthier way.

Here's a breakdown of the typical EMDR therapy session:

  1. History Taking and Assessment:  The therapist will gather information about your background, current struggles, and goals for treatment.
  2. Target Selection:  You'll work collaboratively with the therapist to identify a specific memory or experience that you'd like to address through EMDR.
  3. Preparation:  The therapist will guide you through relaxation techniques and other preparations to ensure you feel safe and supported during the bilateral stimulation.
  4. Processing:  You'll focus on the memory while engaging in bilateral stimulation.  The therapist will guide you through this process, and you'll report what comes to mind.
  5. Evaluation:  After processing, the therapist will help you evaluate your emotional state and any changes you've noticed.
  6. Installation:  The therapist will help you identify positive beliefs and self-statements to replace any negative thoughts or beliefs associated with the memory.
  7. Body Scan:  You'll do a body scan to see if there's any lingering physical tension associated with the memory.

Benefits of EMDR Therapy

EMDR therapy offers a range of benefits for individuals seeking to heal from emotional distress.  Some of the reported benefits include:

  • Reduced emotional distress
  • Improved emotional regulation
  • Decreased disturbing memories and flashbacks
  • Increased feelings of empowerment and control
  • Improved self-esteem and self-compassion
  • Reduced anxiety and depression symptoms
  • Enhanced coping skills

What to Expect During EMDR Treatment

EMDR therapy is typically conducted in weekly sessions, although the frequency can vary depending on your individual needs and progress.  The number of sessions can also vary, but it's generally considered a brief form of therapy compared to traditional talk therapy approaches.

During the first few sessions, you'll focus on building a strong therapeutic relationship with your therapist and learning about EMDR.  Once you feel comfortable and prepared, you'll begin processing targeted memories.

It's important to note that EMDR therapy can sometimes bring up difficult emotions.  However, your therapist will be there to guide you through these experiences and ensure your safety and well-being throughout the process.

EMDR Therapy in New Jersey

Our New Jersey-based practice is committed to providing comprehensive and evidence-based mental health services, including EMDR therapy.  Our team of qualified therapists is experienced in helping individuals heal from trauma and build resilience.

If you're interested in learning more about EMDR therapy and whether it might be right for you, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.  We look forward to helping you on your journey towards healing and emotional wellness.

Additional Resources

Please note: This webpage provides general information about EMDR therapy and is not intended as a substitute for professional consultation.

Finding an EMDR Therapist in New Jersey

EMDR therapy can be a powerful tool for healing, but it's crucial to find a qualified therapist with the training and experience to administer this treatment effectively. Here are some tips for finding an EMDR therapist in New Jersey:

  • Look for therapists certified or trained by EMDRIA (EMDR International Association). 
  • Ask your current doctor or therapist for recommendations. They may be familiar with qualified EMDR therapists in your network.
  • Research therapists online. Many therapists have websites that list their areas of expertise, including EMDR therapy.
  • Consider factors like insurance coverage, location, and scheduling availability.

Important Considerations Before Starting EMDR Therapy

While EMDR therapy is generally safe and effective, it's not suitable for everyone. Here are some important considerations:

  • EMDR therapy may not be recommended for individuals with severe mental health conditions. Discuss your specific situation with a qualified mental health professional.
  • EMDR therapy can bring up difficult emotions.  Be prepared to experience some emotional discomfort during the processing phase.  However, your therapist will be there to guide you through these experiences.
  • EMDR therapy requires active participation.  Be prepared to engage in the process and communicate openly with your therapist.

Taking the First Step Towards Healing

If you're struggling with emotional distress and are interested in exploring EMDR therapy,  we encourage you to reach out to our practice today.  Our team of caring and experienced therapists is here to listen to your concerns and guide you on your path towards healing and emotional well-being.

We offer a free consultation to discuss your needs and determine if EMDR therapy is the right fit for you.  Don't hesitate to take the first step towards a brighter future.  Contact us today!

We look forward to hearing from you.

Remember: This information is for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice.  Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any decisions about your mental health.