EMDR therapy, which stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing has been proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and panic disorders, by resolving unprocessed traumatic memories in the brain.
Our brains have a natural way to recover from traumatic memories and events. This process involves communication between the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the prefrontal cortex. While many times traumatic experiences can be managed and resolved spontaneously, they may not be processed without help.
Stress responses are part of our natural fight, flight, or freeze instincts. When distress from a disturbing event remains, the upsetting images, thoughts, and emotions may create feelings of overwhelm, of being back in that moment, or of being “frozen in time.” EMDR therapy helps the brain process these memories, and allows normal healing to resume. The experience is still remembered, but the fight, flight, or freeze response from the original event is resolved.
On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host Dhru talks to Dr. Stephen Dansiger, a master EMDR therapist. Dr. Dansiger developed the MET(T)A Protocol—a system combining Mindfulness and EMDR Therapy—which aims to combine Buddhist Mindfulness and EMDR Therapy. Dr. Dansiger has practiced Buddhist mindfulness for over 30 years, including a one-year residency at a Zen monastery. He is the author of five books covering clinician self-care, Buddhist psychology, anger management, EMDR Therapy, and the 12 step process.
In this episode, Dhru and Dr. Dansiger talk about how EMDR therapy is different from other therapies, how it affects the brain, and who can benefit from it. Dr. Dansiger also walks us through what an EMDR therapy session looks like, and he shares stories of patients who have experienced EMDR therapy and what it has meant for them in their life.
In this episode, we dive into:
- What is EMDR therapy (4:55)
- Traumatic memories and where they’re stored in the brain (8:19)
- What an EMDR therapy session looks like (13:23)
- What happens in the brain that makes EMDR therapy so powerful (26:39)
- Case studies from Dr. Dansiger’s practice (35:48)
- The best way to explore EMDR therapy and where to find a therapist (42:30)
Also mentioned in this episode:
- EMDR International Association – https://www.emdria.org/
- The Institute for Creative Mindfulness – https://www.instituteforcreativemindfulness.com/
- Trauma and the 12 Steps: An Inclusive Guide to Enhancing Recovery by Jamie Marich – https://amzn.to/367UuUa
- Trauma and the 12 Steps: A Trauma Responsive Workbook by Jamie Marich and Dr. Stephen Dansiger – https://amzn.to/36izbiO
- Trauma and the 12 Steps: Daily Meditations and Reflections by Jamie Marich and Dr. Stephen Dansiger – https://amzn.to/3jYcFAp
- Clinical Dharma: A Path for Healers and Helpers by Dr. Stephen Dansiger – https://amzn.to/3p5gFmK
For more on Dhru Purohit, be sure to follow him on Instagram @dhrupurohit, on Facebook @dhruxpurohit, on Twitter @dhrupurohit, and on YouTube @dhrupurohit. You can also text Dhru at (302) 200-5643 or click here https://my.community.com/dhrupurohit.
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