The Future of Treating of Emotional Imbalance
Emotional balance occurs when you process all the emotions that come your way for appropriate amounts of time. People who have this type of balance feel their emotions fully, process them, and then move on with their lives.
Furthermore, people in this state do not experience struggles between their emotional and logical sides. These sides are in sync with one another, which perpetuates the emotional balance.
However, experiencing emotional imbalance is not always possible for some people without help. For example, patients with PTSD struggle to process the difficult things that happened to them, leaving them in states of imbalance.
If your emotions stay out-of-balance for too long, you can develop physical and emotional symptoms like increased irritability, tense muscles, anxiety, and upset stomach.
As the psychological profession continues to gain a greater understanding of emotional balance, some professionals have begun using different techniques to help people get to this state. For example, Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) helps people with PTSD and other mental illnesses process their difficult emotions, which paves the way for emotional balance.
Common Causes of Emotional Imbalances?
Generally speaking, emotional imbalance has two main causes:
- Emotions taking control of your life
- Refusing to feel and process emotions
Several different problems can fall under these two categories. For example, mental illnesses like PTSD stem from the inability to fully process intense feelings after a traumatic event. On the other hand, depression and anxiety allow negative emotions to overwhelm a patient’s life.
Mental illnesses are not the only causes of emotional imbalance. You can feel this distress when your emotions and logic fall out of sync. In extreme examples, this can mean feeling panicked even when you logically know that you are safe. In other cases, the struggle between wanting something and knowing it isn’t good for you can be enough to through your feelings out of balance.
Common, everyday stressors can also cause you to feel this way, especially when several triggers pile up. Problems with personal relationships, finances, jobs, health, and children can all cause emotional struggles and imbalances.
Psychological professionals have started using EMDR to treat emotional imbalance in many cases, regardless of the cause of emotional imbalance.
Using Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy
EMDR is a type of psychotherapy that requires patients to talk to professionals about their worries. As the name suggests, EMDR uses eye movements to help people process difficult emotions in healthy ways.
Researchers first developed this technique to help people with PTSD gain control of their feelings and stop having flashbacks. However, further research shows that EMDR can treat other problems, such as phobias, anxiety, and depression.
If your emotional imbalance is the result of emotions taking control of your life, this process can help you feel desensitized to the triggers that bother you and reprocess the lingering emotions.
If avoiding your feelings causes your emotional imbalance, EMDR can help by bringing these feelings to the surface and giving you a safe way to process them and move forward.
What to Expect in EMDR
The most important thing that patients should know about EMDR is that it works faster than many other types of psychotherapy. Many patients start to feel better after just one session. In fact, up to 90 percent of single-trauma victims with PTSD no longer suffered from their symptoms after just three 90-minute sessions.
Each EMDR session follows a few basic steps:
- Phase 1: Patients tell clinicians about their mental health histories. In follow-up appointments, they update the professionals on how their symptoms have been since the last treatment.
- Phase 2: Psychologists give patients techniques for handling physical and emotional stress.
- Phases 3 through 6: Patients talk about vivid imagery related to their stress, negative beliefs they have about themselves, and sensations they have in response to these thoughts. Therapists then use eye movements, taps, or tones to reprogram these negative thoughts and allow patients to feel relaxed.
- Phase 7: Psychologists check in with the patients to ensure they feel OK to leave. They also assign “homework,” such as keeping symptom logs until the next session.
Contact FLBH to see how EMDR can help you achieve emotional balance.