For example, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing can be a great choice for people who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
You may have heard about the benefits of EMDR for trauma therapy. You might even know someone who pursued this treatment. But EMDR isn’t just for people with PTSD. It can also be very helpful for people suffering from anxiety. Here’s how EMDR can help people with anxiety heal.
Sometimes, anxiety is linked to past trauma. You might experience anxiety because of an event in your past that you fear happening again. Or maybe a loved one recently went through a traumatic experience. Now, you’re scared that the same thing could happen to you.
You may be hesitant to pursue talk therapy and open up about these thoughts. You might be afraid that talking about them will simply worsen your anxiety. But in EMDR, your therapist will use bilateral stimulation to guide your eye movements while you tune into the physical sensations of your body, so that you don’t need to discuss your experiences in detail.
Process Physical Sensations
Anxiety can be a highly physical experience. Have you ever dealt with a headache or stomachache due to anxiety? Maybe you’ve even felt your muscles tense up when you were anxious, or your dentist has warned you that you’ve been grinding your teeth at night.
EMDR treatment specifically helps you process the tension that you’re holding on to within your body. Your therapist will guide you through identifying the areas where you’re storing tension and anxiety and then focus on releasing this tension.
If your anxiety is connected to trauma, EMDR will finally give you the chance to process what happened. Going through EMDR can help you address the roots of your anxiety, rather than simply trying to manage the symptoms. When you treat the cause, you can experience lifelong healing.
Performance Anxiety and Phobias
What if your anxiety isn’t being caused by something that happened to you or someone you know? In other words, what if a particular incident doesn’t come to mind as the root of your anxiety? EMDR can still help you address problems like performance anxiety and phobias that seem to spring up without a clear root cause.
Your therapist can ask you to envision the scenario that you’re anxious about, and then note where you feel tension building in your body. As your therapist tracks your eye movements, you’ll be able to let go of the fears surrounding the scenario that you’re picturing.
Tools You Can Use Outside of Therapy
Finally, EMDR also equips you with tools and techniques that you can use outside of therapy. For example, you might work on deep breathing techniques with your therapist that you can do on your own. This will allow you to calm yourself down when you feel your anxiety coming back.
Furthermore, you’ll learn how to complete a “body scan” in therapy. A body scan allows you to identify areas of tension in your body and slowly relax so that you can feel grounded in the present again. With these techniques, you’ll find it easier to navigate your day-to-day life.
Are you interested in treating your anxiety without talk therapy? An EMDR therapist can help.
Reach out to us to discuss your options for scheduling your first session.