Family First Adolescent Services Leading the Way in EMDR Therapy 

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of therapy designed to treat mental health issues associated with traumatic memories, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex trauma.  

Recently, our clinical staff underwent training to become certified in EMDR therapy. Keep reading to learn more about EMDR therapy and how our team will utilize this modality to help the families we work with.  

How Does EMDR Therapy Work? 

EMDR therapy aids in forging new, more positive ways of accessing and processing traumatic memories. During treatment, a person focuses on a troubling memory and identifies the belief about themself connected to this negative memory. Next, the individual works with their clinician to formulate a positive belief about themself. The individual then goes over the memory while focusing on an external stimulus that creates bilateral (side to side) eye movement.  This bilateral stimulation creates a neurological process of accessing both hemispheres of the brain in order to reprocess traumatic experiences and move toward greater integration.  

In a successful EMDR session, the therapist facilitates the patient’s ability to access their traumatic memory network and improves the way they process information. The patient builds new associations between traumatic memories and more positive and adaptive memories or information. This process helps accelerate new learning, personal insights, better mental habits, and relief from emotional distress.  

Patients typically meet with an EMDR-trained therapist at least once a week, for 60 to 90 minutes each session. Those who undergo EMDR therapy note decreases in the vividness of disturbing memories and other images, plus a decrease in negative emotions overall. Most patients notice these differences rapidly relative to other forms of therapy.  

Visit the EMDR Institute, Inc. site to gain a more in-depth understanding of the process related to EMDR therapy.  

EMDR as a Treatment for Complex Trauma and PTSD 

The term “complex trauma” is used to describe the long-term effects of exposure to multiple traumatic events or sustained periods of trauma, usually trauma that is invasive and interpersonal in nature. Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a psychiatric condition that results from experiencing or witnessing a single traumatic event that completely overwhelmed the persons’ capacity to cope.  

More and more clinicians are beginning to recognize EMDR as a powerful tool in treating complex trauma and PTSD. In fact, twenty-four randomized, controlled trials have found significant positive effects of EMDR therapy in the treatment of emotional trauma and other negative life experiences. Additionally, several studies have concluded EMDR therapy to be faster and more effective than more traditional forms of trauma therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).  


EMDR Therapy at Family First Adolescent Services 

At FFAS, we pride ourselves on remaining at the forefront of emerging therapies for PTSD, complex trauma, and related conditions. That’s why we made the decision to have our clinical staff undergo EMDR training. We are proud to announce that they are now fully EMDR-trained!  

Our EMDR practice will be highly focused on treating complex trauma in adolescent males. Our clinicians focus on improving the dynamics of the families who come through our program opposed to changing the behaviors of the individual adolescent males. EMDR therapy builds an important foundation for information and memory processing that prepare adolescent boys for a more positive, productive future. 

As an increasing number of experts start to focus on complex trauma and PTSD as two crucial underlying causes of emotional distress in young boys, we believe it is important to be proactive in offering the latest and most effective therapies to our patients. Family First Adolescent Services is committed to caring for your son with state-of-the-art therapies as well as tried-and-true methods of treatment. 

Learn More 

To learn more about EMDR therapy and whether it is right for your son or not, check out the site for the EMDR International Association. If your son suffers from complex trauma, PTSD or other complex mental health, substance use, or problematic gaming issues reach out to the Family First team today! Our staff is beyond passionate about working with adolescent boy and their families. Give us a call today at (561) 328-7370 or speak with an admissions team member via email 

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