Society & Lifestyle

How EMDR Can Support Employee Mental Health

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy has proven to be a revolutionary technique that has gained widespread recognition in treating trauma-based mental health conditions over the years.

How EMDR Can Support Employee Mental Health

EMDR incorporates bilateral stimulation of the brain through the use of eye movements to reprocess stored memories or traumas making it an effective therapy for treating traumatic events or PTSD and anxiety-related disorders such as phobias and social anxiety.

Beyond its application in personal therapy sessions or EMDR intensives, this form of therapy can also be used as a powerful tool for enhancing employee well-being and performance. In this article, we explore some of the ways EMDR can benefit organizations through supporting their employees’ mental health.

Stress Reduction

According to the American Institute of Stress (AIS), approximately one million Americans are absent from work each day because of stress. They also cite job stress as the predominant source of stress for adults in the U.S., a factor that has progressively escalated over the past few decades.

EMDR can help employees identify the reason behind certain stressors at work which may be rooted in stressful or traumatic past experiences. As a result of these unresolved emotions or memories, they may avoid making important decisions at work or communicating with colleagues or managers out of fear of conflict or unwanted outcomes. Through EMDR therapy, employees can resolve the underlying causes of their stress, empowering them to approach their roles with greater confidence, morale and efficiency.

Better Self-Image

A negative self-image can hold us back in life. In the workplace, this can manifest through behaviors such as negative self-talk, the inability to accept constructive feedback, and imposter syndrome. If left untreated, these traits can severely hinder an employee’s ability to progress their career and steer it in the right direction.

By identifying emotional and mental barriers that may stem from past trauma, EMDR can be an effective tool in helping employees overcome their negative self-image, helping them cultivate a healthier sense of self-worth and value.

The knock-on effect of this can be improved communication skills, a willingness to take on more responsibility, and greater confidence in their abilities, enabling them to pursue opportunities that ultimately lead to their career advancement.

Improved Productivity

Various factors can affect an employee’s performance in the workplace. These factors often stem from emotional or mental blocks that are rooted in trauma, preventing them from delivering their best each day.

When unprocessed, these traumas can produce feelings of anxiety, fear or powerlessness, hindering an employee’s ability to concentrate on tasks, manage their emotions or make sound decisions. As a result, they may experience increased levels of stress and burnout or may suffer from feelings of apathy and low motivation which can severely impede their performance at work.

Through EMDR therapy, these employees can begin uncovering the challenging memories and emotions associated with their trauma and reprocess them in a safe and supportive way. By freeing themselves of this mental and emotional burden they can experience improved emotional regulation and resilience, enabling them to focus on their work with a renewed sense of clarity, purpose and productivity.

By resolving stored trauma, EMDR therapy can greatly enhance employee well-being and performance in the workplace. 

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