At Brighter Minds Therapy we most commonly utilize a combination of EMDR and IFS interventions.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is a psychotherapy technique used to help people process and overcome distressing or traumatic experiences. Traumatic memories, and other symptoms can often cause emotional distress which can interfere with daily life. While EMDR was initially, and most commonly, used to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), it has evolved to treat many diagnoses and symptoms including anxiety, phobias, eating disorders, dissociation, etc.
EMDR involves bilateral stimulation (BLS) in the form of eye movement, tapping, or sound. The BLS BLS initiates the brains natural healing process called Adaptive Information Processing, which essentially involves taking important information and storing it where it is easy to access in future relevant situations. With trauma, the brain’s healing process becomes dysfunctional and information is stored in a way that can result in chronic hypervigilance, difficulty recognizing safety, and many other symptoms. EMDR allows the individual to safely process the distressing material to become “desensitized.” EMDR is also used to help the individual develop natural internal resources like confidence, safety, inner harmony, trust in ones self, etc.
For more information on EMDR read this blog post.
Internal Family Systems (IFS)
Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a therapy intervention that involves harmonizing parts of self. The IFS model describes an “internal family” that consists of subconscious parts that we recognize by analyzing our inner dialogue. Our parts develop in reaction to various life experiences and may serve different purposes for our overall functioning. We might have parts that constantly criticize us wanting to protect us from messing up or looking foolish, we may have parts that try to distract us or numb us, we may have the inner child that wants to play and have fun but doesn’t feel safe enough, and we all have the “true self,” the inner leader that is able to manage the internal system of parts and guide with confidence, compassion, and peace. Throughout IFS we strengthen the relationship to the true self and “reparent” the wounded parts. Reparenting is a process of validating and soothing the wounded parts, and giving them the support and care they may have been lacking when they developed.
For more information on IFS read this blog post.