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How EMDR Can Help Your Student Live Independently


As a parent, you want your student to be successful in their transition into adulthood. However, if they have unprocessed trauma, it can be hard for them to live independently. Many students thrive with extra help and support, which helps them to heal and learn the necessary skills required to live successfully as an adult. One helpful technique is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. Through EMDR, your student can heal from trauma and approach life as an adult with a new perspective.


What Is EMDR?


EMDR is a type of psychotherapy that can be used to help your student process trauma or negative events they have faced. This can include bullying at school, witnessing violence, or other events that caused them to feel distressed. Trauma is not defined by a specific event but is the reaction to an event. Therefore, while your student's life may not include what is classically considered trauma, they still may have experienced events that have been distressing for them.

During EMDR, your student would recall memories that are unprocessed or traumatic. The goal is to utilize eye movement while accessing memories to change how the brain views these memories. Therefore, once these memories have been recalled, eye movement is combined with the experience of the memory to help your student to reprocess it. As a result, it can help your student to repair the mental injury that was caused by their experience.


How Your Student Can Benefit From EMDR


Traumatic events do not always cause lasting problems. In many situations, your student could have witnessed or experienced potentially traumatic events and not experienced trauma. However, when an event is unprocessed and unresolved, it causes long-term issues that can affect your student's mental and physical health, along with their relationships and cognitive abilities.


Decreased Anxiety


If your student experienced trauma, especially at a young age, and it has not been processed, they likely suffer from emotional dysregulation. This looks very different for each individual, but it commonly includes mood swings, anxiety, and anger. While the range of emotions is healthy and normal, emotional dysregulation leads to uncontrollable anxiety that can disrupt your student's ability to live independently.

EMDR can help your student to reprocess the memory or memories. In doing so, the brain can rebalance. Additionally, reprocessing can help your student to feel less distress when faced with situations that bring up their memory of that trauma. A common reaction to triggers is anxiety. With a decrease in anxiety, your student is more likely to be able to focus, maintain healthy relationships, and care for their own needs while living independently.


Decreased Risk of Addiction


Experiencing trauma that is causing negative mental or physical health issues commonly leads to substance use to dull the symptoms. However, over time, substance use can turn into a physical dependency on a substance to feel normal. If your student's trauma is left unprocessed, this can result in addiction as a young adult.

As a parent, you want to protect your student from substance abuse and addiction. EMDR is one way to do so. Research has found that EMDR decreases symptoms of trauma and, as a result, decreases addiction in trauma survivors. Through EMDR, your student can find peace after trauma. Therefore, they are less likely to turn to substances as a way to self-medicate and more likely to be able to live functionally as an adult.


Improved Cognitive Abilities


Trauma causes many disruptions in the brain and body, including cognitive abilities. If your student has experienced trauma, it might be impacting their ability to focus and think clearly. This is due to the changes that occur in the brain as a result of trauma when it is unprocessed and not healed. Fortunately, some methods can help.

Researchers have shown that EMDR can help to improve cognitive abilities that have been disrupted due to trauma. By helping your student to be able to think more clearly, and improve their memory and overall cognitive abilities, EMDR can help your student to be more successful in problem-solving. When your student lives as an adult, they will need to address issues. This could include managing money or fixing the toilet. However, they all require cognitive abilities.


Improved Relationships


If your student has experienced trauma, they might have symptoms that range from self-destructive behaviors to mood swings or other mental health issues. As a result, it is likely challenging for them to form healthy and positive relationships. However, learning how to communicate can help them to improve decision-making and build a community.

Through EMDR, your student can heal from their past traumas. By reprocessing their memories, they will be able to think more clearly and regulate their emotions more effectively. As a result, they are more likely to have good relationships in their personal and professional lives.


If your student has past trauma that is unprocessed, it is likely impacting their mental and physical health. However, EMDR can help them process these events. Healing from events has many positive effects and can help your student to live independently as an adult. At Northwest College Support, we understand that the transition into adulthood is challenging. We offer programs that include EMDR, other types of therapy, and support for young adults who are struggling to make the transition smoothly. Each student's needs are unique and our programs are built to be individualized to each person's needs. To learn more about our programs and how we can help, call us today at (877) 485-2776.

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