Teen EMDR Therapy is a psychotherapy treatment that was designed to treat stress related to traumatic life experiences, by helping to address the traumas on a neurobiological level. Science shows us that traumatic experiences affect the brain in such a way that even after long periods of time, thoughts and emotions related to that trauma are still very present. Part of the reason this occurs is because of the physiological effect which trauma has on the brain and specifically, memory, which makes it difficult for teens to process and/or “let go” of the trauma. Teen EMDR Therapy helps teens to address the stressors and associated symptoms related to the trauma, which in turn can be very helpful in teens being able to restructure their thought patterns, beliefs, and behaviors. Teen EMDR Therapy has become a commonly practiced modality and is especially shown to be valuable in treating trauma-related conditions, often in significantly less time than talk therapy based approaches.
The most basic premise of Teen EMDR Therapy is that the body will always find a way to heal itself, as long as there is no blockage preventing it from doing so. For instance, a cut on the finger will eventually close, scab, and then heal, as long as there isn’t dirt that could cause an infection and prohibit the closure. Teen EMDR Therapy supposes that the mental healing process is one in the same and that if we can remove any potential blockages present, then the mind will be able to heal and recover from traumatic experiences, which are causing negative symptoms.
During Teen EMDR Therapy sessions, therapists will carefully and strategically lead teens through a conversation in which they’ll address emotionally difficult or traumatic experiences, while simultaneously experiencing an external stimulus, such as hand tapping, audio stimulation, or lateral eye movements. This external stimulus functions as a minor distraction to the brain, such that that teens are able to more deeply and fully process and discuss the traumatic events. This stimulus mimics that of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) during sleep, and helps teens to view their experiences more completely, because of their ability to get closer to them, through this process. The effect is that through this technique, the EMDR will gradually help to remove certain blockages present in the teens’ brains, which will allow them to more fully and completely recover from the trauma they’ve experienced.
Paradigm New York is a residential teen treatment facility, located in Westchester, New York. At Paradigm New York, we offer teen treatment for teens struggling with mental health and substance abuse illness, by drawing from a number of different treatment modalities, including Teen EMDR Therapy.