Virtual EMDR therapy has made EMDR more accessible and convenient than ever before. That’s why it’s becoming a favorable choice for engaging in therapy.
Let’s first start with what EMDR is and the purpose of it, and then we’ll discuss how this process looks virtually. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a type of therapy which has been shown to be effective through research in treating the symptoms associated with trauma, anxiety and depression, to name a few.
Unlike talk therapy, EMDR does not require you to retell details of your experience of the distressing event(s). Instead, EMDR is a body and brain-based process through which you will be guided to reprocess distressing experiences through bilateral stimulation. By moving your attention back and forth visually, or through sounds or taps, your brain and body re-engage in the natural healing process inherent in all of us.
Many of us have experienced something distressing at some point or another in our lives. When this occurs, it’s normal to experience a stress response. However, when our brain isn’t able to naturally resolve the traumatic experience, we can become stuck and can experience symptoms. This might look like intrusive thoughts of your experience, negative beliefs about yourself, or even feeling as if you’re re-experiencing the event again and again. EMDR helps our brain and body process these memories differently to allow the natural healing process to continue.
What happens in EMDR?
EMDR is comprised of 8 phases. The beginning phases include history taking, identifying your goals, and strengthening your healthy coping skills. As we move further into the work, we’ll focus on one distressing event or memory at a time to begin reprocessing.
In reprocessing, you’re guided through back and forth eye movements (or taps or sounds) while you recall a negative image, emotions, body sensations and self-beliefs about the event. In between sets of eye movements you’ll be asked to identify what you notice. Some clients experience new insights, beliefs, or changes in the original experience as they reprocess.
We will also work to help strengthen positive feelings, beliefs, and body sensations as EMDR progresses. The reprocessing phase may be repeated until all the distressing experiences or events have been successfully targeted. Some of what we focus on may be things that happened in the past, are currently distressing, or are future concerns.
How Does Virtual EMDR work?
The 8 phase process outlined above occurs in virtual EMDR therapy as well. The main difference is how we meet for our sessions.
Using a HIPAA compliant platform, virtual EMDR sessions occur via live video. Prior to your session, you’ll receive a link for the video platform. You’ll also be provided with a link to a remote EMDR platform which we use for bilateral stimulation. We will work together to find the best way for you to experience bilateral stimulation through eye movements, taps, or audio.
Virtual EMDR sessions occur from the comfort of your own space. Each session, you’ll follow the link I send you to open the EMDR platform. We’ll practice together, adjust as needed, and you’ll be guided through the entire process.
How Long Does EMDR Take?
It’s hard to say because each client has a unique history. The overall EMDR process typically takes several sessions. How long we reprocess a specific memory or event depends; sometimes it may take one session, sometimes several sessions.
What do I learn?
If we determine EMDR is a good therapeutic intervention to use, we’ll begin working on understanding and clarifying what it is you want to be different in your life. With that in mind, we’ll begin working towards your goals.
The goal of EMDR therapy is to help you heal past distressing experiences, while also supporting you to be successful in the present and as you move into the future. You’ll identify healthy coping skills, learn new ones, and practice them while we work together. Additionally, you’ll be encouraged to practice these skills in your life as well.
Furthermore, we’ll work on identifying positive beliefs about yourself and help you process through painful emotions related to your experience.
Tips For Virtual EMDR
- Log in to your session
Especially for your first session, set aside a few minutes to familiarize yourself with how to log in. Fortunately, the process is easy! You’ll receive a link to follow each time we meet.
- Create your space
Take a few minutes to decide where you’ll set up your computer, choose a comfy chair, and get settled in. A private and quiet space, with little or no distractions is ideal for your sessions.
- Gather what you’ll need
This may include water, a pair of headphones (especially if you want to use audio sounds for bilateral stimulation), or a box of tissues. Think about what you might need handy for your sessions so those items are nearby.
Virtual EMDR in Colorado is Only a Click Away
Begin EMDR therapy from the comfort of your computer. Virtual EMDR therapy can help you heal the past, embrace the present, and look forward to the future. You deserve a life full of vitality, and our Colorado based practice is here to help you do just that. Contact us to get going, and rest assured we’re here to guide you through the Virtual EMDR process.