EMDR for Anxiety
Is EMDR an Effective Treatment for Anxiety?
Around 20% of American adults experience anxiety disorders every year, and the symptoms and sensations associated with anxiety disorders can significantly affect a person's quality of life and lead to long-term health issues. Although EMDR is best known as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a growing body of evidence suggest it's also an effective way to resolve the negative beliefs at the root of many anxiety disorders. In fact, anxiety is one of the easiest psychological disorders to treat with EMDR.
How Is EMDR Therapy Used to Help Treat Anxiety?
Everyone has core beliefs, fundamental belief systems that can be both positive or negative. Our negative core beliefs are our deepest fears and insecurities and are responsible for the anxiety you experience. EMDR treats anxiety by processing through such beliefs until they are no longer believed and, therefore, no longer evoke intense negative emotions. The first stage in EMDR is eliminating the negative belief creating the anxiety while the second step is inculcating a positive belief in its place which serves to create a healthy foundation of beliefs which leads to even less anxiety. Over several sessions, EMDR allows you let go of the negative beliefs that fuel your anxiety and adopt healthier ways of thinking.
For example, a person may have a longstanding belief that they must achieve perfection in everything they do, which leads to intense feelings of anxiety around their work and family life. With the help of the therapist, the client identifies that their negative belief influencing their anxiety is that they are not good enough and their perfectionist tendencies stem from a need to constantly prove to themselves that they are. Anything less than perfection reinforces their negative belief system. EMDR would target the belief "I'm not good enough" until the client no longer believes that about themselves. Then EMDR would focus on installing the positive belief "I am good enough" and would continue until the statement is fully believed.
What Types of Anxiety Can EMDR Therapy Treat?
Anxiety can have multiple triggers, and these vary from person to person. For example, some people feel intense anxiety in social situations, especially when meeting new people. Others may find work situations triggering, such as making a public presentation or applying for a promotion.
Whatever your anxiety triggers are, engaging in EMDR sessions can help you overcome them. This therapy is suitable for treating a broad range of anxiety disorders and conditions that cause anxiety as a secondary symptom. These include:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) - PTSD
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - Panic Disorder
- Phobias - Social Anxiety
You don't necessarily need an anxiety disorder diagnosis to benefit from EMDR therapy. Some people experience many symptoms of these conditions without meeting the full diagnostic criteria. If this sounds familiar, we can still help you work through your thoughts and feelings with EMDR therapy to gain relief.
Why Choose EMDR and Counseling Center for EMDR Therapy?
Choosing the right therapist is essential for getting the most out of EMDR therapy for anxiety. At the EMDR and Counseling Center, our expert therapists have a wealth of experience helping people like you get relief from their anxiety symptoms. We have an established track record for helping our clients achieve an improved quality of life after just a few sessions and ensure a safe space so that our clients feel comfortable and supported. Our specialty areas include:
- Trauma - Anxiety
- Depression - Self-esteem problems
- Grief - Attachment and childhood issues
- Interpersonal issues - Faith related healing and transitions