Why does the professor say this?
Test 1 Listening A Lect EMDR
There are three things said in this sentence:
- EMDR is sometimes faster than other therapy
- Speed of therapy is not important
- Different people need different things
Note the word “although.” The professor is contrasting speed with knowing the needs of the EMDR patient (the “client”). She thinks that knowing the needs of the patient is more important than speed. Also note the words “it is important to remember.” This shows us that she is giving advice to her students—telling them how to think.
(A) is the right answer. The professor thinks that EMDR therapists should think about the needs of their client, not about the speed of the therapy.
(B) is incorrect because EMDR is not “time-limited.” In fact, the professor said that EMDR can sometimes take a long time, and that “one client may take weeks to feel safe enough with the therapist.” She believes that therapists should be careful and think about the clients needs, not move fast in a limited time.
(C) is tempting but wrong. The focus is on the wrong part of the sentence. We don’t care about the other therapies—we care about EMDR. This is tempting, though, because the professor does say that EMDR “may produce results more quickly” (i.e. it is possible). However, she does not say that other therapies are “less effective.”
(D) is close but incorrect because it is too strong. The professor wants people to think about their clients’ needs. That does not mean new patients, who the therapists “don’t know well,” should not get EMDR treatment. Instead, it only means that their “different needs” are important.
As you all know, psychological trauma has lasting and very damaging effects on a person. People who have survived abuse or neglect from a very young age, soldiers coming back from a war, and other kinds of people too are all at risk for…for the disabling symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, for years and years. Some types of therapy can provide… err, some relief and some symptom resolution. These therapies can be long term or short term. They can teach people many useful skills. They can focus on past, present and future, and be very helpful.
However, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, has the promise to do something unique. It can help on a SOMATIC level, which means that it helps the BODY feel different, and not just the mind, like other therapies. EMDR allows the BODY to feel safe again and to learn that a new life is possible. It is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches… and it has helped millions of people of all ages find RELIEF from many types of psychological stress. It involves learning new ways to process traumatic memories, and… uh… a somewhat unconventional approach, in which patients follow a beam of light back and forth with their eyes as they work with their therapists.
The big goal of EMDR therapy is to understand completely the experiences that are causing problems, and to include new ones that are needed for full health. To PROCESS these experiences does not mean just to describe them and talk about them. Instead, it means setting up a state of mind that will allow these experiences to be understood in a healthy way. In other words, the big, strong emotional reaction will become much smaller over time. The person will feel better and not have as much difficulty doing day to day activities. The inappropriate emotions, beliefs, and body sensations will be removed. Negative emotions, feelings and behaviors are generally caused by unresolved earlier experiences that are pushing you in the wrong directions. The goal of EMDR therapy is to leave the patient with the emotions, understanding, and perspectives that will lead to healthy and useful behaviors and interactions.
No one knows exactly how any form of psychotherapy works in the brain. However, we do know that when a person is very upset, their brain cannot PROCESS information normally and clearly. The traumatic experience can become frozen in time and continue to repeat endlessly. Remembering a trauma may feel as bad as experiencing it again and again. The images, sounds, smells, and feelings often do not change, but remain very present. Such memories have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person sees the world and the way they relate to other people.
EMDR seems to have a direct effect on the way that the brain PROCESSES information. Normal information processing is resumed, so following a successful EMDR session, a person no longer experiences the images, sounds, and feelings when the event is brought to mind. The patient will still remember what happened, but in a much less upsetting way. Researchers think that this has to do with the way the person’s eyes move when he is thinking of a bad memory. In EMDR, the patient sits in a chair and is taught to think about a memory that is very painful. Then, with the guidance of the therapist, the patient thinks about this memory while following a light moving from side to side with his eyes. This causes his eyes to move from one side of his head to the other. The movement of the eyes stimulates the brain in a way that helps the person feel better.
Although EMDR may produce results more quickly than previous forms of therapy, speed is not the issue, and it is important to remember that every client has different needs. For instance, one client may take weeks to feel safe enough with the therapist to be able to do the work that is required by the treatment. Another reason why EMDR may not be very fast in the eyes of many psychologists…why it sometimes has that reputation… is that some patients have layers of long-term trauma, so that when one issue is resolved, another one comes up. Sometimes, the next issue may even more important. Also, treatment is not complete until EMDR therapy has focused on the past memories that are contributing to the problem, the present situations that are disturbing to the patient, and what skills the client may need for the future. All three elements need to be addressed – past, present and future. The good news is that this treatment works and people really do get better… a lot better.
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