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Therapeutic Modalities

Eye Movement Desensitization And Reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Alter is known for its use of state-of-the-art methodologies to treat unresolved emotional trauma. One of these methods is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), an effective therapy for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other past trauma. Talk therapy alone is not enough to resolve the chronic symptoms left behind by the survival reaction to trauma. Nearly all patients who receive EMDR therapy report greater general wellness and significant decreases in trauma-related symptoms.

EMDR and Trauma

EMDR is a powerful, effective, and safe method for alleviating the long-term psychological impact of traumatic experiences.

EMDR changes the way the brain responds to external stimuli. Therapy normally involves sensory input such as changing lights, gentle buzzing from handheld devices, or sounds heard through headphones. As the sensory input switches back and forth from right to left, a patient tries to recall past trauma. Though the memories of the trauma remain, the chronic bodily and emotional reactions to the trauma dissolve.

Much research and many studies have been done on this approach, and it has been found to be safe and effective when administered by trained professionals. That’s why we make sure that our clinical team’s expertise includes administering EMDR, particularly in the treatment of psychological trauma.

What is Brainspotting?

Brainspotting therapy is a type of alternative therapy that uses spots in a person’s visual field to help them process trauma. It accesses trauma trapped in the subcortical brain, the area of the brain responsible for motion, consciousness, emotions, and learning.  One of the purported benefits of Brainspotting therapy over EMDR is that one does not need to “relive” the trauma in order to facilitate its release from the body.

How Is Brainspotting Different From EMDR?

While brainspotting originated from eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR), it is considered a separate practice. For both brainspotting and EMDR, the eye is used as the access point for trauma and difficult emotions. Dr. David Grand developed brainspotting during an EMDR session in which he noticed his client’s trauma emerged when their eye position was fixed in a specific position. Curious, Dr. Grand looked for this pattern with other EMDR clients and found that each patient had a spot where they could fix their eyes and more easily access traumatic memories and emotions.

Some of the differences between brainspotting and EMDR include:

  • Brainspotting involves keeping the eye in a fixed position to focus on one spot of the brain, while EMDR involves side-to-side eye movement to stimulate both sides of the brain
  • Brainspotting is a newer therapy and has less research than EMDR to prove it is effective, but some recent studies comparing the two showed similar rates of improvement for adults with PTSD symptoms
  • EMDR and brainspotting are both effective short-term therapies (1-3 sessions) for trauma, but one study found brainspotting treated clients improved on their own in 6 month period after their final session
  • There are more EMDR-trained therapists (since brainspotting is a newer type of trauma therapy), making it easier to find EMDR treatment

How Brainspotting Therapy Works

Brainspotting works on the theory that feelings from trauma can become stuck in the body, leading to both physical and mental ailments. It is believed that the brain’s memory of a particular trauma or incident is “reset” in the body and brain through Brainspotting.

What Brainspotting Therapy Can Help With

Though Brainspotting therapy is primarily focused on discovering and alleviating trauma, it can help many different types of issues, especially since trauma’s effects are so far-reaching.

  • Anxiety
  • Attachment issues
  • Substance use
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Chronic pain
  • Major depressive disorder

Check Your Insurance Coverage

We work with most PPO insurance’s out-of-network benefits. Our team is happy to help you verify benefits.

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