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Managing Anxiety: Online EMDR as an Unexpected Treatment for Anxiety

You’ve likely heard about Eye-Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) as a therapy treatment. Furthermore, it is also likely is that you’ve heard about it as a treatment. This includes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other trauma-related disorders. What is less likely is that you have heard about the use of EMDR for managing anxiety. Research shows that EMDR is an effective treatment for anxiety symptoms. Using Online EMDR for anxiety works the same way for trauma-related distress. The treatment process allows the client to move through discomfort and distress and feel relief.

“EMDR can help with anxiety since the “flight or flight” response of internal stimulation and physiological arousal that is often associated with anxiety is something that EMDR is very effective at treating.” 

-EMDR Healing, 2019

A woman sitting with her hand on her face

What kinds of beliefs cause anxiety?

When we learn about the world, we interpret events or situations in the best way that we know. Some don’t always have the ability to identify why things are happening a certain way. We may internalize a negative belief about the world or ourselves. We may place high expectations on ourselves or feel the need to think every aspect of a situation through before we take any action. It can be a vicious cycle of worry and anxiety, pushing ourselves to do better and then collapsing in exhaustion.

Why do we feel when we are not managing anxiety?

A low level of anxiety is not a bad thing. We need some stress to motivate us to move forward. This alerts us when we are in danger, and helps us process fearful situations. But when anxiety and stress become overwhelming, we live in a constant state of distress that is unmanageable. When anxiety gets to this level, it often impairs our daily functions. We may have a difficult time at school, at work, or at home.

What kinds of anxiety can online EMDR treat?

EMDR can be used to treat all different types of anxiety. Social anxiety, specific phobias, generalized anxiety, panic disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. And that’s not all! Trauma causes symptoms that overlap with anxiety symptoms. There are times when you may think that you are struggling with anxiety, but it may be the effects of trauma. Experiencing trauma often changes how we respond to our environments and process emotions. Symptoms like hypervigilance, panic attacks, and difficulties in social settings create high levels of physical and cognitive anxiety experiences.

“EMDR therapy is a short-term, experiential psychotherapy that has been proven to alleviate anxiety. It works with the brain’s adaptive information processing system to change the emotional intensity of distressing experiences and memories.” 

-Emma Jane Watson, M.Ed., MSW, LICSW, 2022

Man with hands on his head sitting

When you are ready to work on managing your anxiety, consider EMDR as a relatively short-term (2-15 session) treatment. EMDR is accessible in-person and online. Clinicians who use EMDR have training and education to provide the specific therapeutic services you need. Many therapists will answer any questions that you have before you schedule an appointment. This helps to make an informed decision about what will work best for you and your anxiety symptoms. It’s never too late to get started; you have nothing to lose except the anxiety.

Our Los Angeles, CA and New York City, NY-based practice has been conducting virtual EMDR therapy for anxiety since 2020. Our clients report significant improvements in their anxiety symptoms through Online EMDR. Virtual EMDR sessions have been as effective as in-person EMDR sessions.

If you are ready to start improving your anxiety symptoms with EMDR therapy, schedule an appointment with one of our experienced EMDR therapists!