EMDR and TEENS

Written by: Jill Harmon, LCSW-R

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of psychotherapy that has been found to be effective in treating a range of mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and phobias. EMDR has also shown promising results in treating these conditions in teenagers. In this blog post, we will discuss what EMDR is, how it works, and its potential benefits for teenagers.

What is EMDR?

EMDR is a form of therapy that aims to help individuals process traumatic memories and experiences. EMDR therapy is based on the idea that traumatic experiences can become “stuck” in the brain, preventing individuals from properly processing and moving past the trauma. The therapy involves the use of bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements or tapping, to help individuals process the traumatic memories and emotions associated with them.

How does EMDR work?

EMDR therapy typically involves eight phases of treatment. During the first phase, the therapist will assess the client’s history and identify specific memories to target in treatment. In the second phase, the client will learn coping skills to manage any emotional distress that may arise during the therapy. The third phase involves the use of bilateral stimulation to help the client process the traumatic memories.

In the fourth phase, the client will be asked to identify any negative beliefs they have about themselves in relation to the traumatic event. The therapist will then work with the client to reframe these beliefs into more positive, adaptive ones. The fifth phase involves the use of bilateral stimulation to reinforce the positive beliefs.

The sixth phase involves reviewing progress and addressing any unresolved issues. In the seventh phase, the therapist will help the client develop a plan for maintaining progress after therapy has ended. The final phase involves summarizing the treatment and celebrating the client’s progress.

Benefits of EMDR for Teens

EMDR has shown promising results in treating a range of mental health conditions in teenagers. In one study, EMDR was found to be an effective treatment for PTSD in adolescent survivors of sexual abuse. Another study found that EMDR was effective in treating anxiety and depression in adolescents who had experienced bullying.

EMDR therapy has also been found to be a safe and effective treatment for teens. A study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that EMDR therapy was not associated with any negative side effects or adverse events.

Conclusion

EMDR therapy is a promising treatment for a range of mental health conditions, including PTSD, anxiety, and depression. It has also shown promising results in treating these conditions in teenagers. If you think your teen may benefit from EMDR therapy, it is important to consult with a mental health professional who is trained in this form of therapy to determine if it is the right treatment approach for them.