While many sources of trauma are physical in nature, it can cause a lasting impact on a person’s physical, emotional and mental health. Sometimes, the effect can be so severe that they interfere with an individual’s ability to live a normal life.

Studies show that about 20% of individuals who have experienced a traumatic event eventually develop PTSD. While most people are able to recover from the trauma later on in life, some people find it difficult to move on, even if it occurred several years ago. Some may relive the trauma as if it was still happening to them at present. In some cases, they struggle from nightmares and flashbacks, which evoke a sense of panic and terror.

Wanting to get past this difficult time, a lot of survivors are looking for alternative ways to help them heal and recover. If you are one of them, EMDR therapy may be the solution you are looking for.

How EMDR can help

Previously, it was believed that our brain stays fixed as we enter adulthood. However, research has proven that we do have the ability to change how our brain’s way of thinking. This can be done through EMDR.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is the most thoroughly researched therapies in the treatment for trauma and PTSD. Today, an increasing number of trauma and sexual violence survivors are using EMDR therapy to heal their past.

In this form of therapy, patients are asked to revisit the traumatic event while rapidly moving their eyes back and forth until it dissipates. This stimulates the brain’s information-processing system. As the exercise continues, painful feelings are replaced with peace and greater calm.

Skeptics continue to question the effectiveness of eye movement in treating patients, but research shows that eye movements actually help. According to a 2012 study, eye movements in EMDR therapy help reduce PTSD symptoms by reducing the vividness of troubling memories and the distress they cause, which account for patient’s improvement.

As with other forms of therapy, the effect may vary from person to person. Some may find relief after a single one-hour session, while others need at least 5 to 10 sessions to achieve full emotional resolution.