Doctors still aren’t sure how to cure post traumatic stress disorder, but St. Alexius has found a way to help patients by using a unique kind of psychotherapy.
“People often go blank…get relaxed,” says Neuropsychologist, Dr. David Brooks. “Most typically, even after the first set or two, people indicate that they’re feeling better.”
Simply put, the EMDR treatment works by asking patients a series of questions.
“What is the earliest thing in your life that happened that still really bothers you a lot when you think about it,” says Brooks.
Doctors take some notes, do some analyzing and then it’s time to see the light.
“When your eyes move this way, this side of your brain lights up and your eyes move this way,” says Brooks. “This side of your brain is activated. When you’re alternating it activates the hemispheres of the brain. That induces relaxation.”
Doctors say the patients’ negative thoughts usually don’t bother them again, but the treatment isn’t hypnosis.
“It doesn’t make people forget what happens, but it tends to take away the cloud,” says Brooks.
And not only does it take away those bad thoughts, it does it quickly.
“This tends to be very effective and very fast,” says Brooks. “Often in ten sessions or less we’re through everything. And sometimes in one or two or three sessions.”
EMDR isn’t a magical treatment, but it is an option for those who are struggling with something bigger than the human body can process by itself.