The Five Powerful Benefits of EMDR Therapy

Eye movement desensitisation reprocessing, also called EMDR, is a pioneering treatment renowned for treating PTSD and trauma.

Developed by Francine Shapiro in 1987, EMDR is a psychotherapy treatment designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories and experiences.

Researchers say that EMDR techniques, including tapping and side-to-side eye movements, help facilitate the accessing and processing of traumatic memories into adaptive resolutions.

The goal of EMDR is to relieve an individual’s emotional distress, helping them to reconstruct negative beliefs and introjects, as well as reduce physiological symptoms.

EMDR has rocketed in popularity in recent years, which is unsurprising given its many powerful healing benefits!

Many individuals in trauma recovery report EMDR as being a significant factor that helped them feel better about themselves and their traumatic history.

Although EMDR therapy offers countless physical and mental health benefits to those who have experienced trauma, it can also help treat other conditions, including:

This article explores the five powerful benefits of EMDR therapy.

In the meantime, if you are concerned about your (or a loved one’s) mental health or would like to learn more about EMDR, our experienced, compassionate team at Camino Recovery is here to help.

How Camino Recovery can help

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Camino Recovery provides a comprehensive, personalised EMDR treatment program to clients in Spain and the United Kingdom.

With over fifteen years of successful implementation, our clinical team has honed our expertise in facilitating EMDR therapy to a wide range of clients safely and effectively.

EMDR therapy is a non-invasive treatment that yields quicker results compared to traditional talk therapies. 

Within a residential setting, we meticulously manage any potential distractions to help optimise the treatment process, ensuring its efficacy and accelerating the rate of healing for each individual that comes through our doors.

Each member of the Camino Recovery team possesses a unique skill set and is experienced in diagnosing and treating various emotional, behavioural, and physical conditions.

Our goal is to empower clients to enhance their quality of life and lessen their emotional and physical suffering, allowing them to regain balance and independence and live the life they could have only imagined at the beginning.

Trauma can wreak havoc on various aspects of your life, including your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being, but with proper treatment, care, and support, recovery is possible.

To learn more about our EMDR treatment program, contact our friendly team in Spain today, who will happily provide additional support and information.

We are always here to offer a compassionate ear and answer any questions!

Let’s explore what you need to know about EMDR therapy, including five of its most powerful benefits!

The five powerful benefits of EMDR therapy

Close-up of beautiful little girl brown eye. Macro photograph.

There are various benefits to EMDR, even if you haven’t experienced trauma in your life, five of which are mentioned below.

1. Trauma resolution

EMDR helps you process and integrate traumatic or painful memories in a safe and guided environment to help you resolve your trauma.

Under the guidance of an experienced EMDR clinician, you will be encouraged to use various bilateral stimulation techniques, such as tapping, eye movements, or auditory sounds.

EMDR precipitates the reprocessing of traumatic memories that were not effectively “stored” in the brain when the distressing event took place.

Imagine, if you will, someone being chased down the street by an attacker. 

During the time of the incident, the victim was unable to process their shock and trauma as they were too busy trying to survive the ordeal.

It’s not until afterward that the person begins to experience frightening thoughts, feelings, and sensations about what did and could have happened to them.

The individual may experience flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety whenever they are reminded of the event. 

They may also find it challenging to cope with everyday life and avoid specific places, people, or objects that trigger memories of what they went through.

Suppose you go through something scary or life-threatening. 

In that case, it is expected that you experience aspects of shock and trauma to varying degrees, which should resolve without intervention over time.

However, if these distressing symptoms persist, you may be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

This mental health condition can develop following a traumatic event, requiring you to seek treatment such as EMDR and other trauma therapies.

If you are concerned about your symptoms or want to speak to an EMDR specialist about enrolling in treatment, contact our friendly team, who can provide additional help and support.

2. Reduces anxiety

Anxiety reduction

Another powerful benefit of EMDR is the many practical ways in which it helps reduce anxiety.

Most of us are familiar with the dreaded stomach butterflies and mental blocks induced by anxious thoughts and emotions. 

These uncomfortable feelings may occur before a big presentation, first date, or important exam. 

As unpleasant as these sensations can be, these responses can improve our concentration and focus, helping us to perform better.

But what about when anxiety occurs without an apparent reason or cause?

Often, when someone finds themselves in a constant state of anxiety or hyperarousal, they may experience various unpleasant symptoms without knowing why they are having them.

For example, you may feel incredibly tense or worried but cannot pinpoint why you feel this way. 

Or your responses to things are disproportionate to what’s happening in your environment. 

Maybe you panic over minor bodily symptoms or worry that your partner is cheating on you because, last week, they were late home from work three nights in a row.

Like many mental health conditions, anxiety is often fueled by unresolved trauma – so using a trauma-informed treatment approach can be helpful, which is where EMDR comes in.

Fundamentally, EMDR for anxiety works in much the same way as it does for trauma and PTSD.

However, the focus of treatment will be unique to your worries, fears, and anxiety-inducing situations instead of focusing solely on traumatic memories.

Between you and your therapist, you will develop an effective personalised treatment plan to suit your needs and preferences, helping you to cope with your anxiety symptoms going forward.

Moreover, your therapist may incorporate relaxation practices such as yoga, mindfulness, and meditation techniques before you begin EMDR treatment to help ease your anxiety.

Cognitive behavioural therapy techniques may also be used initially to target negative thinking or behaviour patterns that contribute to or worsen your anxiety.

Research has shown that EMDR is a profoundly beneficial treatment for anxiety sufferers, particularly when used as part of a holistic treatment program. 

To learn more about our anxiety and EMDR treatment programs, contact the Camino Recovery team today for further resources and support. 

3. Enhances emotional regulation 

Since EMDR therapy utilises the development of healthy coping mechanisms and emotional regulation skills, you may find that after treatment, you feel better able to manage your emotions and behaviours, giving you more agency over your life.

By processing traumatic memories and associated emotions, you can learn to manage your responses to external stressors and situations more effectively, increasing your resilience and stability during the more challenging moments.

To learn more about the connection between trauma and dysregulation, click here to read our latest article for further information and insights on the topic.

4. Improves self-esteem and confidence

Close-up of psychiatrist hands together holding palm of her patient

Another powerful benefit of EMDR therapy is that it helps to improve your confidence and self-esteem.

Trauma often erodes our ability to trust ourselves and the world, making it easier to self-isolate and hide behind the bleachers.

However, we were all born to shine and live up to our potential, regardless of our backgrounds and experiences. 

EMDR is an effective treatment to help people self-actualise and achieve empowerment, success, and joy, opening them up to expansive opportunities they would never have considered previously.

As you progress through the different phases of EMDR therapy, you may notice a positive shift in your beliefs about yourself and your abilities.

By addressing and resolving past traumas, individuals expand their capacity for resilience, empowerment, and a greater sense of confidence and self-esteem they may never have had before treatment.

EMDR, among many things, gives you the capacity to manage life’s challenges with a more profound sense of self-assuredness, compassion, and trust.

5. It adopts a holistic approach to recovery 

Another powerful benefit of EMDR therapy is its integrated, holistic approach to healing, encompassing various methods and modalities to help you manage your emotional challenges and recover.

It addresses not only the psychological impact of trauma but also the emotional, spiritual, and physiological aspects.

By integrating mind-body practises into trauma healing and focusing on the interconnectedness of feelings, thoughts, and sensations, EMDR facilitates comprehensive healing and restoration of your overall health and well-being, leading to more favourable outcomes for those in recovery.

In summary

Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing therapy is a type of psychotherapy used to treat various mental health challenges, including PTSD and trauma.

This treatment delves deep into an individual’s past to uncover a time when specific core beliefs were built, often unhelpful ones, such as “I’m not a good person,” to change these distorted narratives into more helpful ones. 

EMDR aims to address and resolve past traumas so that individuals can reflect on their past without experiencing the same level of distress. 

This treatment modality empowers people, allowing them to transcend beyond just surviving something to thriving.

One researcher explained that although EMDR may not be a form of magic, it can feel magical to many in recovery due to its profound healing qualities and ability to transform lives.

Meet our clinical team of EMDR practitioners

Our clinical team of EMDR practitioners is constantly evolving to meet the diverse needs of our clients. 

Currently, our treatment centre has five EMDR specialist practitioners who deliver individual afternoon sessions to clients at our stunning recovery centre in Spain.   

Clients who come to our treatment centre for EMDR therapy will be looked after by the following specialists:

Don Lavender (BA, MDIV)

Don Lavender - Camino Recovery Spain

Originally from Louisiana, Don was born into a lineage with ties to Native American Shamans. Raised on a farm with his family, he later pursued a calling to the priesthood and theological studies.

His academic journey extended to New Orleans and Baton Rouge, where he delved into addiction studies and earned an MDiv (Ph.D. abd) and a master’s degree encompassing Management, Administration, and Counselling from St Meinrad, complemented by a BA in Philosophy.

Specialising in ‘family systems work’ within addiction, Don’s endeavours expanded with the introduction of equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP) in the US and UK during the 1990s, leading to published work on the subject.

Don and his wife, Meena, founded Camino Recovery on the beautiful Southern coast of Spain in 2008.

Since then, Don has collaborated with fellow EMDR practitioners Ameet and Meena to craft a bespoke treatment program, celebrating Camino Recovery’s tenth anniversary in 2018. 

Outside work, Don enjoys travelling with Meena and engaging in home projects, including DIY.

Meena Lavender (Family Therapist and EMDR Practitioner)

Meena

Meena Lavender, a family therapist, EMDR Level 2, and Equine Practitioner at Camino Recovery, has a rich background in bilingual counselling and addiction recovery. 

Trained at Reading University and the University of Greenwich, her expertise spans chemical dependency, addiction recovery, and trauma resolution.

With a focus on family dynamics, Meena actively engages with clients’ families throughout their journey at Camino Recovery, drawing from her involvement in the family program at Hazelden Centre in Minnesota, USA. 

Over two decades, she has embraced a holistic approach to healing, incorporating art therapy, EMDR, and EAP into her treatment practice with clients.

Meena’s dedication extends beyond clinical settings; she has volunteered her services in various capacities, including caring for boys affected by abuse and supporting battered women in safe houses. 

Her prior roles include serving as a family therapist in Devon and counselling in Spain before joining the Camino Recovery team.

Ameet Braich (BENG, MA, CADC (IC&RC) Clinical Director)

Ameet-Braich

As the clinical director at Camino Recovery, Ameet Singh Braich oversees all clinical practices and ensures high standards of client care and excellence.

With over fifteen years of experience in the mental health profession, he specialises in treating depression, anxiety, trauma, substance abuse, and various addictive behaviours, emphasising a holistic therapeutic approach.

Having earned an MA in Addiction Counselling and Psychotherapy from Hazelden in Minnesota, USA, Ameet is deeply versed in addiction and trauma resolution. His academic background includes a BEng in Biochemical Engineering from University College London.

Ameet’s clinical methodology integrates insights from contemplative traditions and mindfulness practices. 

He emphasises the importance of addressing trauma for recovery alongside relapse prevention and ongoing support. 

As a licensed practitioner of EMDR, Ameet enriches his therapeutic toolkit with training in equine-assisted psychotherapy and other treatment modalities, empowering individuals to confront and overcome addiction challenges.

Nadia Samuelsson (MSC, BSC, Psychologist, and EMDR Therapist)

Nadia Samuelsson Camino Recovery Team

Originally from Ecuador, Nadia joins our team with extensive experience gained from her recent work in Holland at a renowned adolescent treatment centre. 

Holding a Bachelor’s in Clinical Psychology from Quito University and a Master’s in Victimology from Tilburg University, she also pursued postgraduate studies in Holland, earning additional qualifications in Criminology, Forensic Psychology, and Third Generation Therapies.

Nadia’s expertise spans various therapeutic modalities, including EMDR, EFT, DBT, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

Her commitment to multicultural psychotherapy stems from a genuine desire to impact people’s lives positively. 

With her multilingual abilities and broad travel experiences, Nadia offers a unique perspective that enhances her ability to connect with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

We eagerly welcome Nadia to our team, confident that her specialised training and dedication will elevate the quality of care we provide to our clients. 

Her global perspective enriches our ability to deliver culturally sensitive and personalised support to our diverse community.

Inés García Hierrezuelo (BA, MA, Clinical Psychologist)

Ines Hierrezuelo Clinical Psychologist Camino Recovery

We are thrilled to introduce Inés as a new addition to the Camino Recovery team, where she joins us as a valuable staff member.

Bringing her expertise as a clinical psychologist, Inés holds degrees from the University of Málaga and the University of Almería, specialising in treating individuals coping with depression, anxiety, and trauma.

Her proficiency in various therapeutic modalities, notably EMDR therapy, perfectly aligns with our commitment to delivering comprehensive and impactful care.

We are confident that Inés’ dedication and skills will significantly enhance the well-being of our clients, and we eagerly anticipate the positive influence she will undoubtedly bring to our team.

For further information and support about our EMDR therapy program, contact our friendly team today, who will gladly assist you.

Additional resources

  1. What Is EMDR Therapy? PsychCentral, Hope Gillette, 4 August 2021
  2. Why EMDR has become a pioneering treatment for psychological trauma, Camino Recovery, 2 June 2021
Ameet Braich - Camino Recovery Spain

Ameet Singh Braich, a distinguished Clinical Director at Camino Recovery, is renowned for expertise in addiction and trauma resolution. With 15+ years of experience, he transforms lives through a holistic therapeutic approach. His research focuses on childhood maltreatment's impact on cognitive, emotional, and social functioning.

A dynamic speaker and trainer, Ameet empowers clients to achieve lasting recovery, prioritizing trauma resolution and relapse prevention. His diverse training includes EAP, crisis intervention, and EMDR. Committed to positive transformation, Ameet equips individuals across fields to address challenges of addiction.

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