EMDR therapy is like chiropractic for mental health

Many people with anxiety or depression seem to try to control the symptoms rather than the core issues. In some cases, people are afraid of facing the root cause of their problems, but I notice that a lot of people have not realized that most of their symptoms have origins – such as specific traumatic events in the past.

Sometimes people tell me that they feel it is not necessary to go back to the past to solve the issues they are currently having. However, it is essential to explore and figure out when and how those issues started. Most problems, if not all, have the specific period they started. For example, you may believe you are not good enough. When did you feel that way for the first time? Who told you so? In other words, who or what kind of circumstance made you believe you were not good enough? Those are all critical questions to ask yourself.

Once you discover the possible origin of the issue, it is crucial to resolve the trauma you experienced at that time. It may not be easy to resolve the trauma as it normally involves several steps, as shown below.

  1. Face the traumatic memory
  2. Look at the situation from a different perspective (e.g., more objectively or from the adult perspective if the event happened during childhood)
  3. Notice the negative beliefs of misunderstandings developed around that time
  4. Remove the above
  5. Switch them to the positive perspective

These are similar to the steps taken during EMDR therapy, but I realized that this process might also be similar to the chiropractic treatment procedure. Although I am not an expert on chiropractic methodologies, I understand that they take care of your structural issues, which you cannot get rid of just by taking pills. If taking medications is the symptom control, getting chiropractic treatment is one of the ways to deal with your core issues.

For example, you may have leg pain caused by a specific way of walking you have developed at some point. A chiropractic doctor should be able to point that out, educate the proper walking methods, and directly work on the body parts to manipulate the core structure. I think I do something similar in my therapy approach by providing my clients psychoeducation as well as providing EMDR therapy to change their core belief systems.

EMDR therapy is different from other therapy approaches and a little complicated to explain to people at times. However, it may be easier to get a feel of it if I use an explanation like the one above. My hope is that more people get to know EMDR therapy and utilize it like chiropractic treatment. Depending on the situation, it really works.