EMDR for Anxiety in Maryland: Stop Your Anxiety for Good
You worry frequently. Your heart races at inappropriate times. Sometimes you feel like you’re panicking or hyperventilating. Your thoughts whirl. Maybe you try to avoid certain people, places, or events because you know you will feel anxious. When you start to feel anxious, it is hard to think about anything other than your present worry. You would do just about anything to stop those thoughts and feelings. Maybe you have tried talk therapy, meds, or CBT. They help a bit, but won’t stop the anxious thoughts completely.
Does this sound like you? If so, you have come to the right place. You may be suffering from anxiety that is resistant to more traditional forms of talk therapy.
EMDR therapy allows you to examine what beliefs and thought patterns are at the root of your anxiety, in a way that CBT and talk therapy simply cannot.
At Fearlessly Inspired Therapeutic Solutions (FITS), we believe in using EMDR for anxiety in Maryland and D.C. We believe in the power of EMDR because we have seen it work to permanently change the way people live their lives.
To learn more about EMDR for anxiety and what EMDR can do for your anxiety, read on!
What is EMDR?
EMDR stands for “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.” During EMDR, an experienced therapist will guide you through specific eye movements while helping you process troubling memories, emotions, and beliefs about yourself.
EMDR is commonly known as a phenomenally effective treatment for trauma and PTSD. However, it also works wonders for anxiety disorders. It allows you to examine the beliefs and emotions that cause the distress that so heavily characterizes anxiety—and gives you the tools to challenge those beliefs and thought patterns.
What is Anxiety?
The word “anxiety” is thrown around a lot. Having some level of anxiety is a typical part of life. But when it becomes more intense, frequent, and disruptive to your daily life, then it is something to look at.
When “anxiety” is used in a mental health context, it is an umbrella term that covers several different anxiety disorders.
Here are some of the more common ones:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is the most common anxiety disorder. GAD is characterized by uneasiness and constant worry that you can’t control. Common worries include health, money, and safety.
Panic Disorder is an anxiety disorder where you have sudden panic attacks. Symptoms of panic attacks differ from one person to the next. They often feel like:
It is also common for people having severe panic attacks to believe they are having heart attacks.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), also called Social Phobia, is characterized by excessive fear and self-consciousness in social situations. People with SAD may experience intense anxiety or panic attacks in situations like public speaking, meeting new people, or being observed by others.
Common symptoms of SAD include:
Feeling judged, rejected, or humiliated in social situations
People with SAD may also experience negative thoughts and beliefs about themselves and the world. When in high-stress social situations, they often experience great distress. They may also try to avoid social situations altogether.
Not a complete list
This is not a complete list of anxiety disorders and symptoms. Just because you do not identify with some of these does not mean you don’t have anxiety.
The best way to tell what you suffer from–and the best way to treat it–is to see a qualified, experienced therapist in Maryland, D.C., or in your general area.
*It’s also important to note that having some of these symptoms does not mean you are weak or not good enough. Just like other disorders, anxiety is common and treatable.
How does EMDR for Anxiety in Maryland Work?
EMDR is predominantly known as a treatment for trauma. However, using EMDR for anxiety is highly effective. In many cases, it works where other, more traditional forms of talk therapy, may not be as effective.
EMDR for trauma works by targeting a specific traumatic memory. With EMDR for anxiety, however, a belief or pattern of thinking is targeted instead.
Let’s use the example of our fictional friend Alexa. Disclaimer: Alexa is not a real person. But at Fearlessly Inspired Therapeutic Solutions in Maryland and D.C., we see stories like hers almost daily—
Alexa suffers from severe test-taking anxiety. When she has a test coming up, she lays awake at night for weeks worrying about it. On the days coming up to the test, she has panic attacks, she can’t sleep, and she can’t stop worrying about the test.
How would EMDR for anxiety work for Alexa?
Rather than look at a memory, Alexa and her experienced, EMDR-trained therapist examine the negative self-talk that Alexa has around test-taking.
One of the most common things Alexa tells herself is that she will fail her tests and if she fails she will be a disappointment.
Alexa’s EMDR therapist asks her to go back to the first time that she can remember having the belief. They then target that memory, along with the belief that accompanies it.
Alexa and her experienced, Maryland EMDR therapist examine those beliefs and replace them with positive ones.
By the time Alexa has completed her treatment, that negative self-talk or belief has been replaced by I can do it, and even if she does not get the best grade, Alexa knows she will be okay.
Does Using EMDR for Anxiety Really work?
A brave woman named Nathalie Olah wrote an article in Refinery 29 in England, where she discussed pursuing EMDR therapy for severe anxiety and phobias, as well as trauma. She had some trauma that occurred in her childhood and developed severe anxiety and phobias as a result. After reading about EMDR, she decided to try it.
After several sessions, she stated, “The cumulative effect of this process led to an overall sense of contentment, inner calm, and happiness.” -Nathalie Olah, U.K.
A study conducted by the Journal of EMDR Practice and Research examined the use of EMDR for anxiety in 30 college students with severe test-taking anxiety. These students reported feeling like exams were “personally threatening.” In test situations, they were often excessively nervous and tense. They also engaged in harsh self-talk during exams that distracted them and interfered with their ability to concentrate, resulting in overwhelming anxiety.
After these 30 students participated in a study on EMDR for anxiety, they saw up to a 50% decrease in their anxiety symptoms around test-taking.
Why Use EMDR for Anxiety?
It’s simple: it works!
EMDR works when other, more traditional forms of talk therapy fail. To put it plainly: EMDR allows you to go places that other therapies simply don’t, by using bilateral stimulation to bypass the part of your brain that activates your fight-or-flight response.
At Fearlessly Inspired Therapeutic Solutions in Maryland and D.C., we have seen the lives of our clients transform after just a few sessions.
We believe in EMDR for 4 primary reasons:
It is an evidence-based treatment for anxiety that really works
It seems to work to relieve symptoms of anxiety faster than other therapy modalities
It works where other, more traditional forms of talk therapy appear to be less effective
We have seen it work to permanently transform the lives of our clients
That is why we believe in the power of EMDR for anxiety.
How to find an EMDR therapist
The best way to find an experienced EMDR therapist is to go to EMDRIA.org. You can search by either location or therapist name. EMDRIA is the leading EMDR therapy association and all the best EMDR clinicians are registered in their directory.
When looking for an EMDR therapist near you, there are a few things to consider:
Someone who is EMDR-trained or EMDR-certified. This means they have more training than those who are “EMDR-informed” or have “Level 1 and 2 EMDR training.”
Someone who has experience using EMDR to treat issues that you have (such as EMDR for anxiety).
Someone who has the ability to empower their clients.
A clinician who has seen the powerful results of EMDR in their patients.
Anxiety can interfere with just about every aspect of your life. It is normal to have some level of anxiety, but when you find yourself constantly worrying or avoiding people and events, it may be time to get help. Other treatments like CBT and talk therapy are useful, but may be ineffective in treating deep-rooted anxiety. EMDR can work where those modalities just don’t cut it.
Using EMDR for anxiety is evidence-based and backed by empirical research. With EMDR, you and an experienced therapist can examine the deep-seated beliefs about yourself that are at the root of your anxiety.
Above all else–EMDR works to provide long-lasting anxiety relief.
If you want to:
Get over a fear of people, places, and events
Sleep better at night
…Find an EMDR-trained therapist today
Contact FITS Today!
At Fearlessly Inspired Therapeutic Solutions (FITS), we have experience using EMDR for anxiety in Maryland and D.C. We have seen how EMDR can work to permanently transform the lives of our clients in just a few sessions.
If you have any questions about EMDR for anxiety in Maryland and D.C. or want to learn more about how EMDR can help you, contact us today for a free 15-minute consultation, or call our office at 301-750-1065.