Treating anxiety disorder with EMDR therapy

Treating anxiety disorder with EMDR therapy

Anxiety disorders are common in the Netherlands. By 2021, nearly half a million people are known to have an anxiety disorder at the doctor’s office. About two-thirds of these are women and one-third are men. The number of people walking around with an anxiety disorder or anxiety symptoms is probably a lot higher in reality, because not everyone goes to their family doctor for it.

The age at which an anxiety disorder is most common is between the ages of 25 and 29, but an anxiety disorder can still develop at an older age.

In this article, we will give you more information about what an anxiety disorder is, exactly what EMDR therapy entails and how (online) EMDR therapy can help treat an anxiety disorder.

What is an anxiety disorder?

There are several known types of anxiety disorders. Generalized anxiety disorder means that you are always anxious and experience constant tension. This could be about specific things such as your work, relationship or money. But even when there is no immediate cause, you may experience anxiety. Symptoms that fit with this include poor sleep, inability to concentrate, fretting, irritability, fatigue and even physical complaints such as muscle and/or joint pain.

Other anxiety disorders that are common are panic disorder, social phobia, agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder or hypochondria. During a panic attack or a situation where you feel very anxious, you may experience sweating, high heart rate or palpitations, trembling, dizziness, dry mouth and nausea, among other symptoms. So anxiety disorders can also manifest themselves clearly physically and have a great deal of impact on your daily life.

What is EMDR?

The acronym EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and is often used for single or multiple traumas. During EMDR therapy, a traumatic event is recalled, experiencing the same thoughts and feelings as at the time of the event itself.

EMDR can also be used for fears of the future. Instead of a traumatic event, the person’s worst scare or fear is then visualized.

Meanwhile, your attention is distracted, overloading working memory at that time. At GGZ online, this is done by a little ball moving rapidly across the image. This allows the traumatic event to be stored with a reduced emotional charge in long-term memory.

After this, the therapist will ask what thoughts and feelings come to mind and what has changed about these thoughts or feelings from before. This is repeated a number of times until the emotional charge at this event has diminished sufficiently.

So EMDR uses the repetitive storage of information, with ever so slightly less detail and emotion. This reduces the symptoms as the unpleasant memories/thoughts fade away.

EMDR therapy

At GGZonline, we offer specialty mental health services.

How can online EMDR help treat anxiety disorder?

In people with an anxiety disorder, there is often an underlying event that triggered anxious feelings. This can be a clearly identifiable event, but sometimes it can be difficult to remember the exact moment when the fears began. This may be, for example, when it comes to less traumatic experiences in themselves, which have become traumatic in this person’s mind so that they have a negative effect on daily functioning.

Reducing the emotional charge of past events or fears about the future can reduce tension symptoms. For example, this may cause the person to stop avoiding certain situations. It can also have a positive effect on sleep and daily functioning.

In addition, waiting times for online psychotherapy are often many times shorter than for face-to-face treatment. Sometimes it is even possible to start the online treatment immediately. Thus, online psychotherapy is very suitable for people who do not want to or cannot continue walking around with their symptoms.

Treating anxiety disorder with online EMDR therapy at GGZ online

Do you have symptoms consistent with an anxiety disorder that you can’t get rid of and are interested in online EMDR therapy? The therapists at GGZ online have extensive experience providing EMDR therapy. During an online intake, the therapists at GGZ online will ask about your symptoms in order to properly assess them and create a treatment plan. Then you and the therapist can schedule appointments for treatment to ensure that your symptoms will diminish.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or to make an appointment!

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