Because stability should come first, EMDR is not used to process trauma when a patient uses alcohol, drugs, or something abusively to help them feel less. You cannot effectively practice phases 3 through 8 of EMDR with someone who has not yet experienced a secure and trusting relationship. EMDR is used to treat PTSD, as well as anxiety, phobia, and many other mental health conditions. However, sometimes EMDR should not be used or should be used with caution.
However, others argue that EMDR does not work based on eye movement but through other mechanisms such as the dual care approach of EMDR and bilateral stimulation, 7 There is still a lot of controversy here. Neuroimaging studies can provide more information on the exact mechanisms at work. For now, advocates and critics will have to agree to disagree on this. When working with trauma, safety has to be of utmost concern.
When done correctly, EMDR has been found to be quite effective. Which brings us back to EMDR therapy. Yes, it is possible to heal from a history of complex trauma. Doing so only requires a conscious, methodical and gradual approach to treatment.
If you are considering EMDR and have a history of complex trauma, I strongly recommend that you make sure that your therapist has experience working with both. Also make sure your therapist talks to you about extensive preparation and stabilization; these aspects will be a necessary part of your healing journey. The goal is to allow people to process and integrate these traumatic memories into their standard memories. The theory behind this method is that remembering moments of distress while you're distracted is less disturbing.
Over time, exposure to these memories should reduce their effects.