EMDR allows you to let go of those negative beliefs and negative feelings.  

EMDR was originally developed in the 80’s and used extensively with PTSD(Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). There are many studies showing its effectiveness with PTSD and because of its usefulness in processing fearful events it is now used to remove fears that cause people to hold limiting beliefs that keep them from having a fulfilled life.

When a scary or traumatic event occurs, it gets stuck in the nervous system with the initial impression, sounds, thoughts and feelings. This information can become twisted and can very much impact our feelings about these events.

The eye movement motion opens up the nervous system allowing the brain to re-integrate positive information. The process includes reprocessing of negative, distorted, self-thoughts associated with the trauma allowing positive beliefs about the self to emerge.

The repetitious eye movements stimulates visual nerve clusters to loosen distressing thoughts, which are frozen and stored in memory, and processes them to resolution. Providing side-to-side, bi-lateral stimulation to a person while discussing traumatic events or feelings of any kind in a specific therapeutic fashion.

EMDR works wonders in allowing a person to release the  fear and other painful feelings.

Insight does not equal change. Whats leads to change, is removing the “fear response” from your body , that has kept you living in the past.

When feeling threatened, we react with the fight or flight or freeze response and our instincts take over. In this contemporary era, it is often very difficult to fight or flight a traumatic situation (i.e. such as leave an abusive marriage due to finances or children).

The immobility response or “freezing response” allows us to stay in a toxic situation enduring the tension and pain waiting for the right moment to get rid of the distress. Often, the freezing response becomes a permanent part of your personality and the original trauma never heals.

How EMDR Works.

EMDR is an 8 phase process.  After an assessment is made and the client’s resources are strengthened then the desensitization can start.

There are two key ingredients of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing treatment. The first is called “bilateral stimulation” (EMDR)which simply means a back and forth stimulation which engages the left and right cerebral hemispheres. What this does is to cause the level of intensity of the feeling you are working with to come down from a 10  to a 0 or 1  ( on a scale of 1-10).

The other ingredient is the focusing back on the event after the feeling has gone down to a 0 intensity and this is when the person sees that he has a completely different belief about himself  and the world.

After desensitizing and reprocessing the negative pattern EMDR helps to strengthen the new desired belief or feeling.  Then it is used to reinforce new learnings that are now needed.



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  • Jshafer

    - 9:51 am

    Great article!

    I would just tweek it a little bit regarding how EMDR ends or changes self-limiting beliefs.

    Instead of, “The process includes reprocessing of negative, distorted, self-thoughts associated with the trauma allowing positive beliefs about the self to emerge.”

    The process includes ‘resolving’ and ‘integrating’ negative feelings (fear, anger, grief) that were happening during the time of the event (trauma, or chronic emotional discomfort). Those ‘negative feelings’ are what the “negative, distorted, self-thoughts” are based on, NOT on the actual information related to the event.

    For example, if a child is abused by an older person, the child’s newly formed negative belief about the ‘self’ is based on the feeling that were happening during the abuse, not on the actual circumstances of the age differences and other factors that were beyond the control of the child during the experience. To wit: most victims of abuse feel shame and guilt thinking they were responsible, when, in fact, they weren’t. The ‘thinking they were responsible’ is based on the feelings of shame and guilt being felt during or shortly after the event, not on the facts of what was actually being done and who is really responsible.

    The way ‘limiting beliefs’ are changed is, therefore, due to the desensitization of the feelings, which, in turns, allows for a new belief about the self to be realized and formed.

    This is an important distinction, I believe, because it explains why just changing beliefs (e.g. Ellis) may seem to work for awhile, and may on the surface level seems to changes feelings about the self. However, when those old feelings are triggered, (due to stress or happenstance) then the beliefs based on those feelings take-over, and the negative beliefs about the self re-appear.

    • susan quinn

      - 3:30 pm

      I agree and thank you for your post! The desensitization of the feelings causes the old feelings connected with he event to diminish and fall away, leaving the space for a new feeling about the self and he world. It is the feeling that holds belief in place. There is always shame associated with abuse and that needs to be desensitized to release the shameful feelings about the self.

  • irina

    - 4:35 pm

    the negative beliefs are very discouraging

  • irina

    - 4:43 pm

    can you change these beliefs forever?

  • Best Deadmau5 songs

    - 9:22 pm

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