EMDR Phobia Therapy in Salt Lake City
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is used to heal distressing memories through a series of eye movements to improve mental health.
How Is EMDR Therapy Used to Help Treat Phobias and Fears?
Negative and traumatic experiences get recorded in the brain. Some may process the trauma and build resilience to the event, while others might get stuck on the trauma or the fear. This reaction can be debilitating, leading to complete avoidance of certain experiences or things; if exposed to it, clients may experience severe distress.
During an EMDR session, the clinician will work through a series of steps to guide the client through their trauma:
History taking: During the history taking, the clinician identifies areas of trauma and how the phobia or fear came about in the first place. These memories will provide insight that the clinician will use during treatment.
Preparation: Before treatment starts, the clinician will help the client prepare for the sessions by building some mental resilience. This process involves teaching the client skills that allow the client to calm down in the face of adversity, trauma, anxious situations and events that may cause a phobic episode.
Desensitizing and reprogramming: Clients will likely recall negative or traumatic events or feelings that will provoke their fear or anxiety response and allow them to become desensitized to them through EMDR.
Installation: Installation provides positive reinforcement to the event or object. The aim is to create a new belief system around the perceived threat.
Closure and stabilization: Clients will report to the therapist their level of stress when the negative stimulus is brought to mind or experienced to gauge treatment progress. Clients should rely on the skills taught to them in the initial session to effectively manage their emotional response until the next therapy session. They're also given tips to manage their emotions between sessions as necessary.
Reevaluation and continued care: The clinician determines whether further therapy is required.
Is EMDR an Effective Treatment for Phobias?
EMDR is an effective treatment for phobias and fears as it allows you to trace your steps back to the initial trauma and treat the phobia at the source of the memory. The therapy allows the part of your brain that processes fear and anxiety to connect with the rational part to minimize the perceived risk of the object or event.
This type of therapy is also used to treat other mental health issues, such as panic disorders and generalized anxiety disorders.
Phobias That Can Be Treated Using EMDR Therapy
Phobias are described as an irrational fear of a thing or situation. The irrational component of the fear can make the treatment of phobias challenging. Some of the common types treated using EMDR therapy include:
Animal phobias that include the fear of spiders, birds and horses
Environmental fears, such as heights and water
Situational fears, such as small spaces and elevators
Injury fears, such as doctors, dentists and needles
Other fears, such as vomiting, blood and sounds
Contact EMDR and Counseling Center for EMDR Therapy
Phobias can be life-altering experiences for clients. At EMDR and Counseling Center, we have a holistic approach to therapy that aims to improve the quality of life for our clients. Our therapy helps you recontextualize your trauma more quickly than other therapy methods. Give us a call to schedule a thorough assessment of your unique needs today.