Organizing Chaos: EMDR as an Evidenced-Based Behavioral Health Treatment for Public Safety Professionals
Advisory Board Member for Cordico
EMDR Therapy can change negative hard-wired neuronal connections by connecting the traumatic memory with new information, and moving the memory from “old” memory to “working” memory. The distressing thoughts and emotions can be transformed with new positive thoughts and emotions; collective awareness allows static sensations in the body to resolve through bilateral sensory movements via hearing, eye movements, and/or hand contact.
Disturbing events can be stored in a person’s memory in an isolated memory network for a number of years. Such memories can be referred to as “old material/information” that becomes familiar and keeps getting triggered over and over again. In another part of that same person’s mind most of the information that is needed to resolve such disturbing events is not connected or linked up. Same mind, but not connected. EMDR- Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing will help the two networks link up and become connected. New information can enter that person’s mind and resolve the “old material.” As the person processes that information, old events, pictures, sensations or emotions may arise. The “old” information/ “material” can become “scenery,” but it does not have to “pull” the person in or grab hold of the person and weigh them down, emotionally as it once did. EMDR connects and corrects the old information and material that once “weighed” the person down by allowing the new information to sort it out, appropriately. (Andrew Dobo, Psy.D., 2018)
Our brains are a very natural healing mechanism very much like our bodies as we want to heal when faced with an injury. EMDR is helpful for adverse life experiences, not just trauma. EMDR therapy is similar to what happens during REM sleep when we sleep and our brains sort things through and let’s go of things that we don’t need. It’s a very similar mechanism.
“EMDR can help us go back to when the blueprint was laid down for a negative belief system and change that for the better.” -Dalene Forester Thacker, PhD- EMDR therapist
Our Heroes who are selfless in their due diligence for the safety and security of our communities across our great country can benefit from behavioral health professionals certified in EMDRIA approved EMDR training. Public safety professionals are exposed to life and death situations and the most difficult aspects of human suffering throughout a 25 to 35 year career. Such exposure can take a toll on the human condition. EMDR can mitigate such distress and be part of that recovery plan that our heroes warrant and deserve.
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