With National PTSD Day June 27, Hospice of Santa Barbara is proud its counselors are able to utilize EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) – a short-term treatment modality utilizing eye movement to process trauma. This therapy has proven especially effective for veterans with PTSD.
Trauma gets stored in a part of the brain (the hippocampus) with all the original raw and vivid imagery sensations and thoughts. During EMDR, this material gets re-processed and stored in to different “files” of the brain, allowing the client to become more objective about the trauma. Clients come to a place of being able to remember the trauma without being flooded by painful and disturbing images and sensations. This technique is completely non-invasive and involves something called dual stimulation using bilateral eye movements, tones or taps. During the reprocessing phases the client recalls past memories, present triggers, or anticipated future experiences while simultaneously focusing on a set of external stimulus. During that time, clients generally experience the emergence of insight, changes in memories, or new more positive associations.
Several Hospice of Santa Barbara counselors have been trained and certified in EMDR and are using it with their clients with great effectiveness. Clients often report feeling comforted and relieved in a way that talk therapy alone is unable to do.