Can Bad Memories Be Deleted with EMDR?

Memories cannot be erased, but the discomfort of these bad memories can be reduced with EMDR.

EMDR, which stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is based on an adaptive information processing model. According to this model; With each new experience in life, new information goes into the mind and this information becomes functional. The knowledge that emerges with this new experience is first processed in the mind and integrates with another memory associated with it. The learning gained from this lived experience is stored for future use.

When there are traumatic or disturbing events that cut life like a knife, which are also expressed as bad memories, this new information cannot be processed and connected with other memories. Thus, the negative experience is stored with the discomfort it causes. These unprocessed memories may arise from certain life events in the present. This triggering can sometimes be due to reasons such as a smell, sound, image. As a result, the person is affected as if reliving that negative memory.

According to the EMDR method, there are disturbing memories stored without processing at the source of the problems experienced today, and these memories cause negative emotions, thoughts and behaviors. For example; When a person has a negative belief about himself that “I cannot express myself”, his feeling can be “anger, helplessness or sadness”. As a result, a psychological problem appears as a complaint in the body (such as stomach, stomach or headache, weakness).

EMDR is administered using bilateral visual, auditory or tactile stimuli. By establishing a relationship between disturbing memories and other memories, the negative memory is processed. Thus, the feeling of discomfort caused by this bad memory is reduced.

The number of sessions in the psychotherapy process differs for everyone. Because each individual’s experiences, resources, traumatic memories and current life differ. Therefore, the psychotherapy process proceeds according to the plan made by the therapist and the client.

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