What Are Phobias? EMDR Therapy for Phobias

EMDR Therapy for Phobias

EMDR therapy is a type of treatment that is effective for PTSD. It is becoming more well-known and accepted, but can it work for other conditions? To be more specific, is it effective for phobias?

In this blog, we will explore whether EMDR therapy can help with phobias. We will provide pertinent information to help you determine if this treatment is right for you.

What Are Phobias?

Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder characterised by irrational fear. They can be debilitating and interfere with daily life. Many people suffer from phobias without ever seeking treatment.

If you have a phobia, please know that treatments are available that can help you manage your fear and live a better life. One treatment for this condition that is getting increasingly popular is EMDR.

What Is EMDR? How Does It Work?

EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing, is a powerful therapy that uses eye movement techniques to reduce the intensity of traumatic memories. Developed in the 1980s by Francine Shapiro, it has since been used to treat a range of mental health issues.

EMDR works by stimulating both sides of the brain by following therapist-directed eye movements. This helps reframe your traumatic experiences so they can be processed more effectively.

In Ireland, EMDR is practiced by Conn Fitzgibbon Counselling. Aside from in-person sessions, the clinic now offers EMDR online therapy for those unable to travel for treatment.

How Can EMDR be Used to Treat Phobias?

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapeutic approach that combines elements from different forms of therapy, including cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), with eye movements or other forms of stimulation. It has been widely used to treat psychological trauma, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.

It is also being used to treat phobias. EMDR works by helping the patient recall memories associated with their fear and replacing them with less emotional responses

For example, an individual’s emotional response to the fearful stimulus is replaced by flexibility and openness, which helps reduce the intensity of the reaction over time. By accessing the emotional material related to the phobia and reprocessing it through EMDR, individuals can change how they respond to situations by becoming more relaxed and accepting. This helps them become more resistant to triggers typically associated with strong reactions.

Ultimately, working through EMDR can help people gain control over their phobia instead of having their situation control them.

Is EMDR Effective in Helping People Overcome Their Fears?

EMDR is a non-invasive form of psychotherapy that stimulates both sides of the brain to process traumatic memories and reduce associated symptoms. In one study, EMDR outperformed other therapies in reducing anxiety symptoms in people with specific phobias.

During an EMDR session, a person will focus on a chosen trauma while engaging in sets of bilateral stimulation — usually focusing on the eyes or hands — which helps them reprocess the memory more effectively and work through lingering fears and anxiety related to it.

As an evidence-based form of therapy with decades of experience helping people apply their natural abilities to better cope with their fears, EMDR can be a promising solution for many people with phobias.

What Are the Potential Side Effects of EMDR Therapy?

EDMR has potential side effects, like any treatment, that should be considered before starting the therapy. Some people notice that a difficult memory might feel a little more “on the surface” for a day or two after working on it, and others sometimes report having a nightmare or flashback. These are rare and generally short-term occurrences of such symptoms. They do happen from time to time and are a part of the healing process for some. 

It is important to discuss these potential side effects with your therapist before starting EMDR to ensure that it is the proper treatment for you.

Tips for Finding a Qualified Therapist in Your Area

If you are looking for a qualified counsellor or therapist in Dublin that offers EMDR therapy, please feel free to get in touch with Conn Fitzgibbon Counselling. I also offer online EMDR, Ireland’s professional practitioner offering it.

Conn Fitzgibbon Counselling specialises in EMDR for phobias and trauma and general counselling to individuals.. I am committed to providing excellent care with respect, empathy, and commitment to the client’s best interests at the centre of every session.

If you suffer from phobias or fear that is impacting your quality of life, EMDR therapy may be a good option for you. This type of therapy successfully treats phobias and other types of anxiety disorders. But it is essential to find a qualified therapist in your area who is trained in EMDR so that you can get the most benefit from this treatment.

Have you considered using EMDR therapy to overcome your fears? Contact us today to learn more about how this therapy can help you live better. Fill out my contact form to schedule an appointment.