5 Things To Expect During Intensive EMDR Treatment.

The goal of intensive EMDR treatment is to help individuals process traumatic memories more quickly than in traditional weekly EMDR sessions. In addition,  intensive EMDR treatment can reduce emotional, cognitive, and somatic symptoms stemming from traumatic events or terrible life experiences and help you learn coping skills to re-regulate your nervous system.

Expect An Initial Intake Session To See If Intensive EMDR Treatment Is The Right Fit For You:

It’s critical to document your history while undergoing EMDR. This information allows your therapist to assess your readiness for an extended and potentially demanding processing session. For example, your therapist may inquire about past diagnoses, suicidal thoughts or behaviors, and major life events.

Your therapist will also introduce you to the process and explain EMDR and the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model on which it is based. You may take a brief assessment to ensure that you have the necessary skills to remain grounded throughout your EMDR session.


Expect A Lengthier Session WIth Minor Breaks To Focus On About the Target Memory:

Intensives can last anywhere from a few hours to multiple days, depending on the type of EMDR treatment. Don’t worry; you won’t be processing trauma the entire time! Instead, you may pause the processing and engage in regulating activities like yoga, breathing exercises, or going for a short walk.

The Session Will Be More Efficient:

At the beginning of each 50-60 minute EMDR treatment session, the therapist and patient generally require 10 minutes to catch up, discuss symptoms or triggers between sessions, and reevaluate distress around the event.

After processing and before ending the session, clients often need 10-15 minutes to unwind, ground and balance themselves before returning to their day.

This leaves just about 30 minutes for trauma processing. One of the primary advantages of EMDR intensives is that time is not lost on opening and closing each session. As a result, more uninterrupted time is devoted to processing memories and targets.

You May Resolve A Target Completely In A Single Intensive:

It is possible to significantly diminish the negative emotional responses surrounding the event in one intensive processing session. In that case, you may not choose to continue with additional EMDR therapy. However, you may want to pursue a more comprehensive treatment strategy and work through several incident traumas, requiring other intensive or weekly EMDR sessions.

Your intensive session will likely give you additional skills for tolerating difficult emotions and experiences.
During your EMDR intensive, you’ll learn to alternate between memory processing and taking breaks to utilize your self-regulating abilities and resources. You will take these skills with you and employ them daily to ground, contain, and regulate your nervous system.

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