EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy is an excellent treatment for trauma-related issues. Although EMDR treatment is most commonly used to treat PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), it can also be used to treat depression, anxiety, and other types of psychological distress.

If you have never had EMDR treatment before, you can be frightened, anxious, or tensed since you do not know what to expect. 

Fortunately, we can reduce some of your concerns by letting you know what to expect from your first EMDR session. When you should opt for an EMDR intensive should be checked with your therapist.

What is EMDR Intensive?

An EDMR intensive is a therapy method that involves completing numerous EMDR sessions each day over a short period. According to a new study published in Frontiers in Psychology, intense therapy for traumatic stress can be particularly successful at reducing symptom severity.

Moreover, EMDR intensives are customized treatment plans that allow you to avoid the queue by providing priority access to a limited number of slots and tailored to your desired treatment schedule and timetable.

Depression, anxiety attacks, OCD, bipolar and schizophrenic disorders, eating disorders, physical and sexual abuse, addiction, and other medical concerns are treated with EMDR intensive treatment. 

Unpleasant feelings that become stuck in the mind because of their overpowering nature, incapable of being processed like our usual, everyday experiences, appear to be the link between these conditions.

Professional EMDR therapists educated in Polyvagal Theory and Somatic Experiencing will commonly use these methods within the EMDR treatment to help with symptom reduction and resolution.

Is EMDR Intensive for You? Check with Your Therapist

EMDR’s purpose is to reduce the amount of emotional pain you experience when you ponder about upsetting ideas and memories. It can help you be happier, less stressful life by reducing the strength of emotionally charged memories, thoughts, and traumatic experiences.

The EMDR Intensive plan is best for you if:

  • You want quicker progress.
  • You are short on time and unable to attend the weekly treatment sessions because of your job or family obligations. 
  • You have already put in a significant amount of time in treatment, and it does not appear to be working, or you are making too little improvement.
  • You do not have accessibility to a trauma therapist in your area, but you can set aside some time to go to visit the therapist so that you can work more intensively.

According to research, individuals who complete intensive therapy can make as much improvement in the shortened format as they can in conventional weekly sessions. 

This can save weeks or months of suffering from trauma exposure and their impact on work, relationships, families, parenthood, and overall health. Moreover, research by Bongaerts states that intense EMDR therapy can be a safe and effective treatment option for complex PTSD.

Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to consult with a therapist beforehand to assure it’s the right option for you. 

Benefits of EMDR Intensive

  • There is a higher initial cost. However, the shorter treatment time can save money in the long run.
  • According to a randomized study, patients with PTSD, intensive trauma-focused therapy appears to be well tolerated, allowing for quicker symptom reduction with equal, if not better, outcomes while lowering the chance of patients dropping out early.
  • Intensive treatment has substantially lowered waiting lists because customers finish the same week they begin.
  • It considerably saves missed work time because sessions are done across two or three days.
  • People from out of town or out of state can benefit from speedy access to great care by traveling to their selected therapists only once or doing it online.
  • Clients who live in the area and have transportation or childcare concerns can also make accommodations for a single weekend. This reduces the need for continuing child care or transportation to therapy.

EMDR Intensive Therapy Steps

Pre Treatment interview

Taking the history is a crucial element of the EMDR procedure. This stage allows your therapist to determine whether or not you are ready for an intense treatment session. 

Your therapist may inquire about previous diagnoses, suicide thoughts, and other details regarding the situation you’d want to discuss.

Personalized treatment workbook

EMDR intensives can take anywhere from a few hours to many days. During 50-60 minute EMDR processing sessions, the patient and therapist generally require 10 minutes to catch up, address symptoms or triggers between sessions, and review the suffering related to the experience. 

The workbook will help you focus on your treatment goals before, during, and after your EMDR intense sessions.

Customized Treatment

It consists of customized, targeted goals which are to be achieved during the treatment. During the treatment, the therapists cautiously try to clean up the old traumatic scars during processing so that they can heal, but this might make you feel agitated after a session. 

You will not be left holding these emotions on your own for lengthy periods of time. The therapist will work towards processing them with more frequent and longer sessions.

Post Treatment Interview

After the intensive therapy sessions, you will be asked to evaluate your progress in the final step. The same will be done by your therapist. This helps to evaluate and support your adjustment to positive changes from the treatment.

One of the most impressive aspects of EMDR treatment for depression and other conditions is that it does not need a person to talk about their experiences in great detail. There is no homework or difficult processes to memorize in between sessions. 

It focuses on letting the brain’s natural healing mechanism take control and naturally and effectively release negative emotions rather than modifying ideas, feelings, or beliefs.

Conclusion

An intensive can immediately help you feel less distressed about traumatic events or negative life experiences. It also teaches you how to control nervous system dysregulation.

It is critical that you set aside time during the EMDR Intensive to focus on self-care so that you can accomplish the EMDR treatment properly. Because EMDR is an intensive procedure, and these intensives are accelerated, people frequently report feeling weary following EMDR sessions.

The best course of action is to speak to a therapist and determine whether it’s a good option for your unique circumstances. 

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