EMDR is a core treatment utilized by trained therapists at Juno House. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR www.emdria.org) is a method of psychotherapy that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma and many types of self-harming behaviours.
“Eating disorders are self regulatory problems.”
– Carol York
EMDR has a direct effect on the way the brain processes information. When a person undergoes extreme stress or trauma, the brain shuts down and cannot process information normally. This one stress becomes “frozen in time,” and when a similar moment is encountered, the brain may remember the trauma as bad as the first time because the images, sounds, smells, and feelings frozen in the brain haven’t changed. As a result, these memories continually block normal development or performance.
EMDR helps the brain process the frozen moment, and helps normal information processing to be resumed. Following successful EMDR treatment, clients can process similar thoughts normally, and can still remember what happened, but the thought is less upsetting.
EMDR appears to be similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Therefore, EMDR can be thought of as a physiologically based therapy that helps a person see disturbing material in a new and less distressing way.
Many controlled studies have investigated the effects of EMDR and been published in peer-reviewed professional journals. These studies have consistently found that EMDR effectively decreases/eliminates the symptoms of post traumatic stress for the majority of clients.
EMDR repairs developmenT injuries
Eating disorders, anxiety and self harm are all indicators of “affect management” problems, with roots in early attachment relationships. These early attachment patterns give us the clues to understand how a child’s brain has learned to regulate their internal state – and how the brain now continues to try to regulate the system by this dominant pattern.
EMDR allows us to access this affective state, and to re-program or re-work the emotional pattern. It gets at the early emotional material stored in the right hemisphere of the brain, and allows us through attuned therapeutic relationships, to repair, re-program, and re-pattern an emotionally tolerant individual.
All members of the family may experience EMDR at Juno House. It is always done in the context of an attuned, respectful relationship with the client. And always with the expressed purpose of helping the parents attune to their child in the way they want to, eliminating their own past unprocessed material that is getting in their way.
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