How Does EMDR Therapy Help Manage Anxiety?


Anxiety can become a relentless traveling companion, weaving its threads into every aspect of your life. Every time I meet more people who live with anxiety, which causes them a lot of suffering. As a psychologist specialized in EMDR, I am here to offer you an alternative route to that spiral of constant worry and accompany you towards the calm you so desire.

Understanding anxiety from a practical perspective

Anxiety is not simply an uncomfortable feeling; It is a complex experience that can affect your well-being in many aspects of your life. From daily jitters, to social or sexual anxiety, to overwhelming panic attacks, anxiety can make even the simplest tasks seem insurmountable. But it is important to understand that anxiety does not define you.

It is a response of the body and mind to what it perceives as danger. We could say that anxiety usually comes from the feeling of loss of security. Anxiety is the alarm, not the fire. Therefore, working only at the level of thoughts is often not enough. I can tell myself, “you are safe,” but I will only believe it when I truly “feel safe.”

From the perspective of EMDR therapy, we understand that Anxiety can be rooted in past experiences of trauma or challenging situations that have not been fully processed and have left us feeling unsafe. These “not safe” memories can be activated in times of stress, triggering overwhelming anxiety responses or determining the “tone” of our nervous system on a day-to-day basis.

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The transformative power of EMDR in the treatment of anxiety

EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a therapy that, through bilateral brain stimulation, allows you to modify the narrative of those traumatic memories, changing the way they impact you today.

During an EMDR session, the psychologist will guide you through a series of eye movements or tactile stimuli while you focus on a memory or experience that triggers anxiety. This process allows the brain to process and digest information more effectively, giving new meaning to traumatic memories and helping you reestablish the experience of safety. Like any therapeutic process, it is a complex path, but we hope to be able to accompany you in the best way.

Steps of EMDR Therapy for Anxiety

EMDR therapy consists of 8 phases, but broadly speaking, I will summarize what we will work on:

1. Evaluation and Preparation

In the first phase of therapy, we will work together to evaluate your personal history and determine the specific triggers for your anxiety. We will also provide you with tools and techniques to help you manage your emotions and physiological activation during the therapeutic process.

2. Installation of Positive Resources

We will work together to strengthen your emotional resilience and develop internal resources that help you manage present and future stress.

3. Desensitization and Reprocessing

During this phase, we will guide you through EMDR sessions to process traumatic memories, change your emotional response to them, and reconnect with a sense of safety.

4. Evaluation and Closure

In the final phase of therapy, we will review your progress and evaluate any residual effects of anxiety. We will also discuss strategies to maintain your long-term emotional well-being.

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Ultimately I want you to stay with this message: Anxiety can be learned to manage. And we, at SAFE Psychology, would be delighted to accompany you on this path. You can contact us to receive more information about EMDR treatment. And if you wish, you can begin your therapy process either in person in Madrid or through online sessions.