Eye Movment Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapeutic technique used by licensed mental health practitioners who are trained in this protocol to facilitate the recovery of those suffering from aftereffects of traumatic events. In this technique, the therapist guides the person in right/left eye movement and other right/left brain stimulation as he or she recounts the event. Also, the person gets to choose their actions rather than feeling powerless over his or her reactions. The goal is to release blocked emotional experience (memories and distress) as well as successful integration of the event, resulting in symptom relief and healing.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of therapy that has been demonstrated by many research studies to be the most effective approach for a variety of psychological problems, including PTSD and other responses to trauma. The eye movement aspect of EMDR are unnecessary, according to the research, and cognitive-behavioral methods (including exposure work, cognitive restructuring, relaxation training) are more established, proven and sufficient.

In CBT, the therapeutic relationship is collaborative and goal-oriented, and the focus on thoughts, beliefs, assumptions and behaviors is key. The goal is for a person to develop more realistic and rational perspectives, and make healthier behavioral choices, as well as to feel relief from negative emotional states. Specific techniques, strategies and methods are used to help people to improve their mood, relationships and work performance.

Schema Therapy is similar to cognitive therapy in that the focus is on correcting problems in a person’s habitual patterns of thinking and feeling, and corresponding difficulties in his or her behavioral coping style. The focus is on identifying and understanding, and then challenging and overcoming the long-standing maladaptive patterns in thinking, feeling and behavior that create obstacles for a person in getting needs met and attaining life goals. As with standard CBT, the goal is for the person to feel better and enjoy greater life satisfaction.

CTA is a network of experienced therapists in the NY metro area who provide Cognitive Therapy and Schema-Focused Therapy. To inquire about an appointment, please call us at 212-258-2577.

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