One of our most asked questions is: “How do you feel after EMDR” Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy has gained popularity as a valuable approach for individuals grappling with anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and various other mental health conditions.
This therapy involves a series of guided eye movements aimed at helping individuals process distressing memories and emotions. If you’re contemplating EMDR therapy, you might wonder about the emotional and physical effects you can expect to experience after a session. In this article, we will delve into these effects to provide insights into what post-EMDR sensations and emotions may entail.
The Emotional Effects of EMDR Therapy
EMDR therapy has the potential to evoke a wide range of emotional responses in individuals. After a session, some individuals report a profound sense of relief, while others may find themselves feeling emotionally vulnerable. It’s important to recognise that experiencing a variety of emotions during and after an EMDR session is entirely normal. Here are some emotional responses commonly associated with EMDR therapy:
1. Relief: EMDR therapy is designed to help individuals process challenging emotions and memories. As a result, many people experience a profound sense of relief and closure after confronting and addressing these emotional burdens.
2. Anxiety: It’s not uncommon for some individuals to feel heightened anxiety after an EMDR session, particularly if they have just processed a particularly distressing or traumatic memory. The process of revisiting and processing these memories can be emotionally intense.
3. Sadness: Post-EMDR, individuals may experience feelings of sadness. This can be especially true if the therapy session involved confronting painful memories or emotions. The release of these emotions can lead to a temporary state of sadness.
4. Confusion: EMDR therapy can be an intense and emotionally charged experience. As a result, some individuals may feel temporarily confused or disoriented after a session. This is typically a transient sensation that subsides as the individual processes their emotions.
5. Empowerment: A significant emotional effect of EMDR therapy is a sense of empowerment. As individuals navigate and process difficult emotions and memories, they often feel a growing sense of control over their mental health and well-being.
It is vital to acknowledge that the emotional responses to EMDR therapy can vary widely depending on an individual’s unique experiences and the specific issues they are addressing during therapy. Everyone’s journey through EMDR is unique, and the emotional landscape can be complex and multifaceted.
The Physical Effects of EMDR Therapy
EMDR therapy can also manifest physical effects in the body. During a session, individuals might experience various physical sensations, which can include:
1. Fatigue: EMDR therapy sessions can be emotionally taxing, leading some individuals to feel physically fatigued afterward. Processing intense emotions and memories can be draining.
2. Nausea: It is not uncommon for individuals to experience nausea or stomach discomfort during an EMDR session, particularly if the therapy involves revisiting highly distressing memories. The mind-body connection can trigger physical reactions.
3. Headaches: Some individuals may develop headaches after an EMDR session, especially if they have been holding tension in their head or neck during the therapy. This physical response is often related to the emotional intensity of the session.
4. Tingling Sensations: EMDR therapy can induce tingling sensations in the body, particularly in the hands and feet. These sensations may be linked to the body’s response to processing emotions and memories.
5. Emotional Exhaustion: Beyond physical fatigue, EMDR therapy can lead to emotional exhaustion. The process of confronting and processing deep-seated emotions can be mentally draining, and individuals may feel emotionally spent following a session.
Again, it’s essential to emphasise that the physical effects of EMDR therapy can vary widely from person to person. The mind-body connection is intricate, and physical sensations can be influenced by the emotional content of the therapy.
How Do You Feel After EMDR Therapy
EMDR therapy is a potent tool for addressing mental health concerns and facilitating the processing of challenging emotions and memories. While it’s impossible to predict precisely how you’ll feel after an EMDR session, it’s crucial to recognise that experiencing a range of emotions and physical sensations during and after therapy is entirely normal.
If you are considering EMDR therapy, it is of paramount importance to collaborate with a trained and licensed therapist who can guide you safely and effectively through the process.
At Kove we provide the necessary support and expertise to help you navigate the emotional and physical terrain of EMDR therapy.
To embark on this transformative journey, we invite you to book a free consultation with a qualified therapist who can answer your questions, including how do you feel after EMDR Therapy and address any specific needs.