Hi there, my name is Kandace Ledergerber. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Registered Yoga Teacher in Florida.
This post is the second in a series regarding Questions/Fears and Concerns I often hear about EMDR therapy. These questions come from prospective clients looking to understand what EMDR is and clients I’m already working with. In the last post of this series, I shared my understanding of how EMDR therapy is different from hypnotherapy. And if you’d like to read that post or watch that video, you can find it by clicking here.
So on to today’s topic – I get asked often next to “Is EMDR therapy like Hypnotherapy?” and that question is, “Is EMDR therapy right for me?”.
It depends. It depends on many factors – one of the most powerful being, what are you looking to get out of therapy?
Are you looking to have someone as a sounding board so you can vent without bias and judgment? Are you looking to talk through the issues that are bringing you to therapy verbally to make sense of them? Are you looking to analyze negative cognitions and consciously work to shift them to positive cognitions?
So indeed, an EMDR therapist can do all of the above. And I am speaking for myself at different times; as a therapist, I do all these pieces. These pieces, however, are not the primary focus of EMDR therapy.
As a therapist, I can say that when I am working with a client who is interested in EMDR therapy, I am intentional about using the EMDR model. In everyday terms, I focus on helping my clients build resources and coping skills to help them feel grounded for a good handful of sessions. And when the client feels they have a healthy amount of skills to deal with triggers that tip their internal balance, we start to use EMDR to process past adverse life events, trauma, and stress that have impacted their current thought patterns, how they see themselves and how they see the world.
Here are a few common factors or threads I have seen with EMDR clients who have shared that EMDR has felt like a good fit. Indeed, this is not a one-sized approach, different therapists may work differently, and I am only sharing my observations.
Common thread number one: They are often very motivated for change. It usually comes up that they have tried other therapy modalities and helped make things better, but they want something more.
Common thread number two: These clients are pretty dedicated to showing up and doing the work but also practicing the skills they need outside the therapy room. These clients practice stabilizing themselves or can regulate their emotional state pretty well. Although I will say that EMD (Eye Movement Desensitization) can help to do this as well so that a client can feel better about present-day triggers as it doesn’t focus on reprocessing old trauma and helps the client find more stability.
Common thread number three: The most significant common factor I have seen is that they are tired of having past trauma, anxiety, stress, and so forth rear their ugly head at the worst times. They’re tired of these things disrupting and running their lives. They want more.
I hope this has helped give you some insight into EMDR therapy with me as a therapist in Tampa, Florida, and as you decide if EMDR therapy is right for you. It is so important to ask questions and discuss with your therapist or a potential therapist when you are thinking of working with them to find out if they are a good fit for you. If you have questions, please reach out!