Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy was developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro in 1987 to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This therapy uses eye movements (or sometimes rhythmic tapping) to stimulate Bilateral Stimulation (BLS) to change the way a memory is stored in the brain, allowing you to process it. This therapy aims to help you work through painful memories with your body’s natural functions to recover from the effects of trauma. EMDR therapy is considered a new, neuro biological form of psychotherapy. It is NOT talk therapy! It is mostly used in PTSD and trauma. However, it can be used for other mental health issues.
EFT tapping is an evidence-based therapeutic technique that combines elements of traditional Chinese medicine, psychology, and acupressure. It involves gently tapping on specific meridian points on the body while focusing on emotional or physical distress. These meridian points are believed to be energy pathways that, when stimulated, can help restore balance and alleviate emotional blockages by releasing negative emotions and reducing stress and anxiety.
EFT tapping follows a structured process that involves addressing specific emotions or issues and also acknowledging that it is okay to feel this way and that we are good enough the way we are at the same time.
Through the last twenty years of research and case studies, EFT tapping has gained recognition for its potential benefits in promoting emotional well-being. While individual experiences may vary, some reported benefits include:
EFT tapping can be integrated into a holistic approach to self-care and emotional healing both inside and outside of therapy. Tapping can also complement other self-care practices such as meditation, mindfulness, and journaling along with other modalities in session.
EFT tapping offers a unique and accessible approach to emotional healing and self-care and has the potential to promote emotional well-being, reduce stress, and enhance overall resilience. Consider exploring EFT tapping as a valuable tool in your journey towards emotional freedom and personal growth.
Internal Family Systems (IFS) was created by Psychologist Richard Schwartz and is an approach to psychotherapy that identifies and addresses multiple sub-personalities/parts within each person’s mental system. These sub-personalities consist of wounded parts and painful emotions such as anger and shame, and parts that try to control and protect the person from the pain of the wounded parts. The sub-personalities are often in conflict with each other and with one’s core Self, a concept that describes the confident, compassionate, whole person that is at the core of every individual. IFS focuses on healing the wounded parts and restoring mental balance and harmony by changing the dynamics that create discord among the sub-personalities and the Self
Polyvagal Theory emphasizes the role the autonomic nervous system – especially the vagus nerve – plays in regulating our health and behavior. Created and developed by Stephen Porges, PhD, the theory describes the physiological/psychological states which underlie our daily behavior as well as challenges related to our wellness and mental health1.
The theory has three defining principles: the hierarchy of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) per PVT, neuroception, and co-regulation1. The hierarchy of the ANS is based on how safe we feel at any given moment. The mechanism involved in shifting these states occurs beneath the level of conscious awareness. These states form an underlying neurophysiological foundation for our feelings and emotions1.
At Utah Lakes Neuroscience Mental Health Center, we use brain spotting to help people heal from trauma. Brainspotting is a type of alternative therapy that uses spots in a person’s visual field to help them process trauma. It accesses trauma trapped in the subcortical brain, the area of the brain responsible for motion, consciousness, emotions, and learning. It is based on the idea that the brain is the source of all healing and that the eyes can be used to access the brain’s healing power. This type of therapy was discovered in 2003 by David Grand, PhD, as an advancement of his work in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. One of the benefits of BrainSpotting therapy is that one does not need to “relive” the trauma to facilitate the release.
During a brain spotting session, the therapist will guide the client through a series of eye movements while they talk about their trauma. This helps the client to access the allocortex (limbic cortex) which is highly involved in regulation. As well as promotes the coherence (coherence is associated with more integrative and effective thinking and behavior, greater intelligence, creativity, emotional stability, self confidence, and reduced anxiety) between the sympathetic and parasympathetic activation. Our therapists have been trained to not only utilize the model of Brain Spotting but to also understand the neuroscience of the model and how to effectively walk you through the experience safely. You will be amazed to see your body healing. All you need to do is observe with curiosity, give yourself time and space, and see what happens.