EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and is a type of psychotherapy treatment that was originally designed to treat stress associated with difficult and/or traumatic life experiences. The nature of traumatic experiences is that often, even if after a considerable amount of time, the emotions associated with the event still feel very real and present to the teens, and it’s difficult for teens to know how to “let go” of these lasting effects. Teen EMDR Therapy is a neurobiological form of therapy that helps teens to access and process the stress associated with such distressing memories and to find resolution, by reducing overall associated stress, reformulating beliefs and perspectives, and reducing associated physical symptoms. One of the benefits of Teen EMDR Therapy is that it has been shown to be extremely successful in treating trauma-related conditions, and often, in significantly less time than is commonly associated with more traditional talk-oriented therapies.
The way Teen EMDR works is both simple and complex, at once. Essentially, the treatment is based on the underlying premise that just as the body knows how to heal itself from a physical wound, the mind does as well, if we can figure out the way to allow it to do so. For instance, an open cut will eventually close itself and heal, providing that there isn’t some sort of blockage (such as dirt) to disturb this natural healing process. Teen EMDR supposes that the mental healing processes are similar, and that if different unconscious or conscious “blockages” can be removed, then the mind will naturally heal itself, in order to return to homeostasis.
Teen EMDR Therapy works in a similar way to REM (Rapid Eye Movement), during sleep. Basically, Teen EMDR affects the way that the teens’ brains process certain information: for instance, negative memories from the past. Through the process, teens’ brains can reprocess traumatic events in a way that is less upsetting. By helping the teens to “see” these experiences in a new way, they will have the ability to begin to face, process, and heal from them, rather than just being bombarded by the negative effects of them. During Teen EMDR sessions, the teens address emotionally difficult experiences with their therapists, while focusing on some sort of external (and usually physical) stimulus, such as lateral eye movements, hand tapping, or audio stimulation. This level of “distraction” from the subjects at hand allow the therapists insight into what connections, disturbances, and blockages exist in the teen, and can therefore help to eliminate these blockages and help teens to restore their natural healing processes.
The great success of Teen EMDR Therapy is fairly impressive, especially considering that most people only participate in eight treatments, which are broken down to address the past, present, and future. Teen EMDR focuses on the experiences and memories teens have, as related to particularly traumatic times in their lives, as well as the negative symptoms and challenges they experience now, because of these events. It has become a very successful therapeutic technique world-wide, and millions of people have had positive experiences through this treatment.