EMDR Princeton NJ

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of psychotherapy that is growing in popularity, especially when it comes to treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). What makes EMDR unique is that it does not rely on talk therapy or medication as other therapies do. Instead, it uses a person’s own rapid, rhythmic eye movements to decrease the power and intensity of past traumatic memories.

CTRLCare Behavioral Health remains on the forefront of new treatment approaches, and we are proud to offer EMDR to our clients. Because we offer treatment for trauma-related disorders like PTSD in Princeton NJ, we have extensive experience using EMDR. This therapy aims to process disturbing events so that they can stop causing distress.

To learn more about EMDR and if it’s right for you, contact CTRLCare Behavioral Health today. We’ll be happy to explain this therapy in more detail and how it can help you heal from past trauma.

What is EMDR? How Does it Work?

EMDR in Princeton NJ is most known for treating trauma, but it can also treat other mental health conditions like anxiety, depression and eating disorders. The therapy is done in sessions, which usually last up to 90 minutes. During the session, your therapist will move their fingers back and forth in front of your face and ask you to follow the motions with your eyes.

While this is taking place, the therapist will ask you about the disturbing event. What happened? How did you feel? What things in the environment did you notice? Gradually, the therapist will guide you to shift your thoughts to more positive memories. Some therapists use toe tapping or musical tones instead of their fingers.

The goal of EMDR is to make the past memories less disturbing. Before and after each session, you will rate your level of distress to make sure the therapy is ‘working.’ Unlike other treatments that focus on your thoughts and emotions, EMDR changes the way a memory is stored in the brain.

EMDR’s Structured 8-Phase Approach

EMDR can be used on its own or alongside another type of behavioral therapy in New Jersey. It all depends on your needs and treatment goals. You should also know that EMDR follows a very structured approach that follows eight phases. EMDR cannot be effectively practiced until you have a safe, trusting relationship with your therapist.

Here are the eight phases in more detail:

  1. History taking and treatment planning. To begin, your therapist will get a full history to better understand the symptoms you are suffering and the traumatic memories you are holding onto. You and your therapist will also define your targets for treatment, which may include past memories, current triggers and future goals.
  2. Preparation. Next, the therapist explains the treatment and introduces you to the process. You’ll be able to discuss any concerns during this time, as well as ways to cope with emotional disturbances that might come up.
  3. Assessment. In this phase, the target event is identified, along with the beliefs, feelings, sensations and images from the event. Initial baseline measures are set using the Subjective Units of Disturbance (SUD) scale and the Validity of Cognition (VOC) scale.
  4. Desensitization. Side-to-side eye movements, sounds or taps begin while focusing on the traumatic event. During this time, you may notice new thoughts, sensations, images and feelings emerge.
CTRLCare EMDR in Princeton NJ

  1. Installation. When desensitization is complete, installation begins. This refers to associating positive beliefs with the target event until it feels true.
  2. Body Scan. During the body scan, you’ll be asked to keep in mind the target event and the positive belief while scanning the body from head to toe. Lingering disturbances are reprocessed.
  3. Closure. Every session of reprocessing ends with closure, which is where you’re brought back to a state of calm in the present moment, even if the reprocessing isn’t complete.
  4. Revaluation. Revaluation is how each session begins after reprocessing. You’ll discuss recently processed memories to ensure that distress is still low and the positive association is still strong.

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Heal Your Emotional Wounds with EMDR in Princeton NJ

CTRLCare Behavioral Health offers EMDR therapy. Our therapists have had a lot of success with EMDR, helping clients to process traumatic memories so that they no longer ‘live’ in the brain and body. Furthermore, The American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) have identified EMDR as an effective treatment for PTSD.

Of course, each person is unique, so it’s important to get a full evaluation done first. This way, our treatment team can determine if you can benefit from EMDR and any other therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy in New Jersey. With a wide range of therapies under roof, it’s possible to put together a highly individualized treatment plan that addresses past trauma and mental health problems.

Start Your Healing at CTRLCare Behavioral Health

If you are storing unprocessed trauma, it could be causing a great deal of strife in your life.

With the right treatment approach, you can process this trauma and relieve yourself of painful emotions. To find out if EMDR in Princeton NJ can have a positive impact on your healing and recovery, contact CTRLCare Behavioral Health today.


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CTRLCare Behavioral Health

29 Emmons Drive, Suite G-30
Princeton, NJ 08540

(609) 237-0088

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