Thinking Outside the Box - EMDR

May 17, 2018

Credit anonymous object/Flickr

You're in your car, headed to the store.

Your boss asks if they can see you for a moment and then asks you to close the door.

You hear a raised voice from outside.

Suddenly, you're panicking.  Maybe you feel terrified; maybe you're in tears.  The anxiety is overwhelming.  All you can think about is "Why is this happening?" and "I can't let anyone see how freaked out I am."

Everyone goes through trauma in their lives but for some people, that experience gets "stuck" in their brain. Instead of processing the event and moving on, the brain reacts to a seemingly harmless event by triggering the "fight, flight or freeze" reflex.

But just as therapies like ECT and TMS are showing remarkable abilities to help people with treatment-resistant depression, EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy is doing the same for people with forms of post-traumatic stress disorder.