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Eye Movement Therapy For Depression

How Long Does Emdr Therapy Take To Work

Treating anxiety and depression with IEMT (Integral Eye Movement Therapy)

EMDR therapy, medically known as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy was initially designed to alleviate the stress and negative feelings associated with traumatic memories alongside treating a variety of disorders, including:

  • Depression
  • Chronic pain
  • Phobias

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy is a non-traditional, reasonably new type of psychotherapy which has become rather popular within recent years.

As a patient who is going through eye movement desensitization therapy, it is likely that you will be encouraged to relive the specific event that triggers the disorder whilst being under supervision of a professional therapist. During this timeframe, the medical professional conducting the session will start to adjust the patients eye movements through various techniques in order to redirect your attention. Triggering these types of psychological responses to past trauma should never be done without a trained professional.

The diversion of eye movements entices the brain to focus on the movements being made over the emotional trauma the brain will be attempting to relive. As a result, this will decrease the emotional and psychological response, allowing the mind to dive deeper into your traumatic past but without reliving the full extent of negative repercussions.

Are There Harms Or Side Effects Of Emdr Therapy

EMDR therapy re-processes the negativities experienced in the past by establishing a connection between the unconscious and consciousness, between the present and the past. It does this with double stimulation .

It is very natural that people want to receive therapy in processes that cannot be suppressed and digested, and where past experiences are forced and overwhelmed. However, some people think that the therapy will be harmful and there will be side effects and they are worried about it.

During the therapy process, people may have worries such as What if I get very depressed? If my troubles get worse

In this section, we consider whether EMDR therapy has side effects and harms.

With EMDR, we are entering points that you may not be able to explain to many people, even yourself, and that you do not want to face. Of course, we dont get into these issues right away. As you feel comfortable and trust your therapist, you begin to share. These issues are discussed as long as you share and feel comfortable.

Even when he shares his troubles, that feeling of overwhelm can be reflected in the therapy room. Therefore, EMDR therapy is progressed in accordance with the tolerance window.

In EMDR therapy, we take care to stay at a moderate level of emotional triggering. Therefore, EMDR therapy is not a method to be feared.

Avail Yourself Of A Powerful Tool

EMDR is a powerful tool that focuses on healing. Its not meant to drag up old memories that youd rather forget. Instead, its about putting those memories to rest. And with that you no longer have to be defined by those thoughts, allowing your depression to finally lift.

If you are interested in how EMDR can work for your depression, I invite you to contact us 256-686-9195

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Is Emdr Effective For Treating Depression

Studies confirm EMDR as an evidence-based practice for treating depression. Although more research is needed for specific types of depression, evidence demonstrates significant improvement in symptoms of depression for EMDR participants. One study showed that MDD patients achieved a significant reduction of symptoms after six to eight sessions. Not only did it treat their symptoms, but it improved their overall quality of life.1,2,3

A narrative summary of randomized controlled trials conducted with patients diagnosed with depression cited two studies where there was a significant reduction in depressive symptoms following treatment. One study also reported that the improvements remained at a three month follow-up.2

Additional analysis of RCTs compared EMDR to cognitive behavioral therapy for treating depression found that both significantly reduce symptoms however, those in the EMDR treatment group saw almost complete remission. The study also found that those that received EMDR treatment vs. CBT considered it a less negative experience.2

Does Emdr Therapy Actually Work

Everything You Need to Know About: Eye Movement Therapy · Dr. Alex

According to the EMDR Institute, Inc., some of the studies on this type of therapy show that 84-90% of single-trauma victims no longer have post-traumatic stress disorder after only three 90-minute sessions.

Another study, funded by the HMO Kaiser Permanente, found that 100% of the single-trauma victims and 77% of multiple trauma victims no longer were diagnosed with PTSD after only six 50-minute sessions. In another study, 77% of combat veterans were free of PTSD in 12 sessions.

What is also different about this type of therapeutic intervention is that the therapist does not conversationally converse with the client while going through the process.

Following an EMDR session, its not unusual for sleep to be impacted. Vivid dreams are common as well as feeling more sensitive to interactions with others and to external stimuli.

EMDR Therapy is not the only form of therapy appropriate for people dealing with anxiety, PTSD, panic, and/or trauma. EMDR therapy is often conducted in conjunction with other forms of therapy.

Speak with your therapist about combinations of therapy or other therapeutic techniques that might be effective for you.

Cognitive behavioral therapy , and rational emotional behavioral therapy can also be effective for anxiety and trauma.

EMDR can also be paired with at-home therapeutic techniques. Check out our round-up of mental health apps here.

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Study Selection And Study Characteristics

The PRISMA flowchart describing the selection process, including reasons for exclusion, is presented in Figure 1. The search retrieved 11 studies: 10 articles on adult patients and one on adolescents . Meta-analysis included 9 studies, as two studies was excluded due to there being no usable data for calculating the effect sizes.

What Do The Guidelines Recommend

Guidelines issued by more than one professional organization have recently boosted the credibility of EMDR. These guidelines define who may benefit from the treatment. For example:

  • The American Psychiatric Association has noted that EMDR is effective for treating symptoms of acute and chronic PTSD. According to the APA, EMDR may be particularly useful for people who have trouble talking about the traumatic events they’ve experienced. The APA guidelines note that other research is needed to tell whether improvements from EMDR can be sustained over time.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense have jointly issued clinical practice guidelines. These guidelines “strongly recommended” EMDR for the treatment of PTSD in both military and non-military populations. They also note that this approach has been as effective as other psychological treatments in some studies, and less effective in others.

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Emdr Therapy For Depression: Implications For Mental Health

Depression is one of the most common mental health issues. Although EMDR therapy is most widely known as a PTSD trauma treatment, using EMDR therapy to treat people struggling with depression is an accepted practice. Research supports EMDR as an effective treatment for depression as well, and this area continues to be studied as you can see in the resources listed below. Depression can make a person feel hopeless, stuck, and overwhelmed. Traumatic and stressful life events often contribute to or occur alongside depressive symptoms such as negative thoughts, depressed mood, empty or sad feelings, low sense of self-worth, and difficulty finding pleasure in life. EMDR therapy can provide relief for depressive symptoms, help reframe negative beliefs, resolve unprocessed trauma and adverse experiences, improve energy and mood, and create a more positive understanding of the self.

In our latest Go With That issue, EMDR and depression experts Arne Hofmann, M.D. and wrote EMDR Therapy in the Treatment of Depression. They outline the existing research on EMDR and depression and outline the six steps of the EMDR and Depression DeprEnd Protocol.

*EMDRIA members have access to all articles and issues in the Go With That magazine.


Emdr Treatment Of Depression

Virtual EMDR Eye Movement Therapy

There have been several studies in which comorbid depressive symptoms were assessed in studies investigating EMDR treatment of participants diagnosed with PTSD. For example, in a randomized controlled trial, found EMDR more effective than fluoxetine in reducing PTSD and depression symptoms. A meta-analysis by determined that EMDR was more effective at reducing these comorbid depressive symptoms than CBT.

In 2013, Wood and Ricketts asserted that although EMDR has the potential to treat symptoms of primary depression, the application has not been adequately researched, and currently, it cannot be considered an evidence-based treatment for major depressive disorder. More recently, and conducted controlled matched studies in inpatient and outpatient settings with patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder. All participants received treatment as usual, and EMDR was provided as an adjunctive therapy to a matched group. Results showed significantly better improvement on symptoms of depression for those participants who received adjunctive EMDR.

Recommended Reading: How To Control Depression Thoughts

Implications For Clinical Practice And Research

The results of this study can inform clinical practice by considering EMDR effective at reducing depression, thus adding an additional therapeutic option for clinicians treating this disorder. The increase of therapeutic strategies for depression is of particular importance as it allows better personalization to be provided according to patients preferences. In fact, studies have shown that receiving a preferred treatment is associated with stronger therapeutic alliance, lower dropout rates, and positive treatment outcomes . It is also essential to routinely evaluate the presence of adverse childhood experiences and traumatic events in people with depression in order to identify if trauma-focused psychotherapies such as EMDR could be more effective for patients with a history of maltreatment. Previous studies have shown that exposure to childhood maltreatment predicts a poorer response to drug treatment and a better response to psychotherapy in patients with depression. Therefore, trauma-focused therapies could represent a valid option for patients with depression, who are less likely to respond to usual treatments and may require specific interventions focused on their maltreatment history. It may also be useful to consider whether different types of adverse childhood experiences play a role in predicting the outcome of treatment, in line with findings supporting a significant association of childhood maltreatment, especially emotional abuse and neglect, with depression .

Emdr In The Treatment Of Depressive Disorders

Although originally developed to alleviate the distress caused by traumatic memories, especially those associated with PTSD, EMDR was proposed early on for the treatment of other pathologies which are not necessarily linked with traumatic events that meet the A criterion of PTSD. In fact, EMDR was already being used by clinicians for the treatment of patients with depression in the early 1990s . Systematic studies have demonstrated the effects of EMDR on PTSD-related depression. In a randomized clinical trial, compared the effectiveness of fluoxetine treatment with EMDR and a placebo pill in a PTSD population. After the intervention, the EMDR-treated group had significantly lower BDI-II scores than the fluoxetine-treated group. This finding is echoed by a recent meta-analysis on the treatment of PTSD and comorbid depression: showed that EMDR seemed to have a significantly stronger effect on the comorbid depression than CBT, although the effect on the PTSD was similar.

This drop in depressive symptoms, following EMDR treatment of memories which patients experience as traumatic, seems to not be limited to PTSD patients alone. In a controlled study, treated a group suffering from stressful memories. Although only 54% of these patients fulfilled the criteria of PTSD , all of them benefited from EMDR treatment, as evidenced by significant improvements in their PTSD and depressive symptoms. Both benefits were maintained at a 15-month follow-up .

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Our Mission Is To Provide Professional & Effective Eye Movement Solutions To A Wide Range Of Lifes Challenges

Eye Movement Therapy has been shown to be a highly effective treatment for Trauma, Chronic Pain, Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Addictions, Eating Disorders and many others. The Eye Movement Integration Therapy Specialists are committed to providing state-of-the-art solutions and professional clinical training.

Natural Therapies For Bipolar Depression

EMDR Trauma Counseling

When combined with prescribed medication, these alternative approaches may help you better manage the symptoms of bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder requires managing two distinct categories of symptoms. Manic symptoms may include impulsive behavior, excessive irritability, and anxiety, while depressive symptoms may include a low mood, poor appetite, and emotional indifference, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Though there aren’t many complementary or alternative medicine remedies for manic behavior, a few non-prescription therapies may help alleviate depression. Most people who have bipolar disorder spend the majority of their time depressed rather than manic, notes the National Institutes of Health.

But just because CAM therapies exist doesn’t mean that people with bipolar disorder should throw away their antidepressants. “Bipolar is a very serious, lifelong disorder,” says Philip Muskin, MD, professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. “If you need an antidepressant, you should take it. These other types of therapies are additional or complementary rather than alternative.”

The complementary and non-pharmacological treatments that have shown some benefit for the depressive side of bipolar disorder are:

Also Check: How To Combat Clinical Depression

Eye Movement Desensitization And Reprocessing Therapy

EMDR is a unique, nontraditional form of psychotherapy designed to diminish negative feelings associated with memories of traumatic events. Unlike most forms of talk therapy, EMDR focuses less on the traumatic event itself and more on the disturbing emotions and symptoms that result from the event. Treatment includes a hand motion technique used by the therapist to guide the clients eye movements from side to side, similar to watching a pendulum swing. EMDR is a controversial intervention, because it is unclear exactly how it works, with some psychologists claiming it does not work. Some studies have shown, however, that EMDR is effective for treating certain mental-health conditions.

What Can Accelerated Resolution Therapy Help With

As stated above, ART has been found to be helpful in decreasing or resolving symptoms associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder , pain, depression, anxiety, and issues of self esteem.1,3,5,7

The Accelerated Resolution Therapy Website reports encouraging results when therapists use ART for disorders and problems including:

  • Dyslexia

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The Treatment Of Depression

Although options for the treatment of depression have expanded significantly in the last 20 years, the early optimism accompanying new antidepressant medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors has rapidly faded. In fact, a recent meta-analysis has concluded that antidepressants have only a modest advantage over placebo, with the magnitude of benefit increasing with the severity of the depression . In addition, psychopharmacological intervention is hampered by side effects and nonadherence problems .

In a randomized controlled trial , 3,671 patients with unipolar depression where treated with antidepressant drugs . The initial remission rate was 37%. Three additional levels of treatment were offered based on response . The cumulative remission rate after four levels was 67% .

How Effective Is Emdr Therapy

What is Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy?

You might feel a little skeptical of the idea that making eye movements when thinking about a traumatic experience can somehow help ease painful memories.

While experts arent entirely certain exactly why the approach works, some believe its effective because recalling distressing events may feel less emotionally upsetting when you arent giving those memories your full attention.

To put it another way, the bilateral stimulation used in EMDR gives you something to focus on as you access painful memories and unwanted thoughts.

This helps dim the intensity of your memory, allowing you space to process it without an overwhelming psychological response.

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How Does Emdr Help With Depression

One of the most common EMDR techniques used to help clients work through depression is to identify the powerful, negative thoughts or beliefs that trigger their symptoms. These thoughts can significantly impact the quality of life and may include things like, I am no good to anyone People are better off without me Things will never get better Its my fault or I am unlovable.

One study reviewed this technique to treat depression for patients diagnosed with major depression disorder that significantly impacted their quality of life. The participants achieved significant and marked reduction in their symptoms of depression after receiving six to eight sessions of EMDR.1

Dr. Arne Hofmann, the founder of the EMDR-Institute Germany, says In cases that work well with usual guideline-based therapy, EMDR may not be needed. However, many depressive patients relapse and many get chronic. This is where guideline-based therapy often is not working well anymore. Also, 60% of depressive patients have additional disorders, comorbidity, in many cases trauma-based disorders, that make treatment more difficult. Here EMDR is clinically, in my eyes, a treatment of choice because other treatments often do not work well in these cases.

Is Art Like Hypnosis

ART is different from hypnosis. The client retains their ability to be consciously aware of their surroundings and what they are working on . Sometimes clients do report that they feel very relaxed or even a little sleepy during an ART session. It is thought that this may be the natural result of the relaxation of the brain found to coincide with smooth-pursuit eye movements.4

Sometimes people feel uncomfortable with the idea of changing images, as well as corresponding feelings, attached to troubling memories in a purposeful way. However, the client is given the information about Memory Reconsolidation to explain the scientific understanding that this is a natural process that we all engage in whenever we recall an emotionally based memory. With ART, we are taking advantage of this natural process and purposefully and consciously selecting replacement images to replace the formerly upsetting ones.

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