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Can EMDR therapy also be given online?

EMDR therapy is now also available online. A session in your own living room or wherever you feel safe. No need to go home after a stressful session. EMDR online is a relatively short therapy. Especially if it is a one-off traumatic event, you can experience improvements after just a few EMDR sessions and continue with your daily activities, such as work and studies. It works, as in the treatment room, through eye movements and, if necessary, in combination with tapping. During the EMDR session, the therapist is present and checks that everything is going well. EMDR is a very effective treatment method for all kinds of trauma.

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing and is an effectively proven treatment method for processing traumatic experiences and reducing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD symptoms are symptoms that have occurred as a direct result of a specific, unpleasant event, with the thought of it still evoking an emotional reaction.

How does EMDR online therapy work?

The therapist asks you to remember the event, including the images, thoughts and feelings associated with it. This is done first to gather more information about the traumatic experience. Then the processing is started. The therapist will ask you to remember the event again. But this is now done in combination with a distracting stimulus. After each set, there is a short break. The therapist will ask you what comes to mind. The EMDR process usually leads to a flow of thoughts and images, but sometimes also of feelings and physical sensations. Things often change. After each sentence, you will be asked to focus on the most striking change, which will be followed by a new sentence.

The expected effects of EMDR online therapy

Through the sets, the memory gradually loses its power and emotional charge. Thus, it becomes easier and easier to remember the original event. In many cases, the memory images themselves also change, becoming blurred or smaller, for example. However, less unpleasant aspects of the same situation may also emerge. Alternatively, new thoughts or insights may arise spontaneously, giving the event a different, less threatening meaning. These effects help make the shocking experience more acceptable and the PTSD symptoms disappear.

One explanation for the effectiveness of EMDR is that recalling an unpleasant memory in combination with eye movements or another distracting stimulus causes the natural processing system to be stimulated. Because a traumatic memory, when recalled, is both vivid and intense, it occupies a relatively large proportion of memory capacity. But following the distracting stimulus as quickly as possible, as happens in EMDR therapy, also takes up memory capacity. This competition of working memory tasks leaves little room for the vividness and sadness of memory. This provides an opportunity to change the meaning of the event.

When is online EMDR therapy even more effective?

There is growing evidence that emotionally charged memories and images also play an important role in other conditions, such as chronic pain, anxiety disorders, Depression, eating disorders and negative self-image. For this reason, EMDR is increasingly used for these problems and disorders, usually as part of a broader treatment plan.

Online EMDR treatment is suitable for everyone. Both children and adults benefit greatly from this form of treatment. EMDR is also very effective in partner-relationship therapy. Moreover, intensive therapy works quickly and has lasting results.

Would you like to talk further about Can EMDR therapy also be delivered online? or other options within mental health?

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