EMDR THERAPY FOR ATHLETES
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an integrative psychotherapy that has been researched and proven to be alleviate symptoms related to various life disturbing experiences or traumas. Some of these experiences that may cause trauma to individuals are rape, sexual abuse, auto accidents and combat. In instances when people have had in their lives like divorce, life transitions, grief, anxiety and the usual stresses of life, EMDR is known to provide relief. Naturally, human beings go through so many experiences, some being too hard to comprehend. When faced with these situations, many people experience trauma since life threatening encounters can get edged in the memory, creating very uncomfortable symptoms. In the event that these signs are not treated, they may be distressing.
People go for EMDR treatment, seeking to identify a process that can decrease these traumatic symptoms and make one feel more alive and less distressed. It does this by activating the brains inherent system to process and integrate the information that is stored there. It does not do away with the information stored within the brain or delete the event from the memory, rather, it reduces the emotional charge that accompanies the distressing episode.
Many swimming athletes who had a good future in the sport, had to give it all up after some nasty episodes in their lives. But there is hope for them as well with EMDR. For those swimmers who approach any competition with increased anxiety, there is a remedy for this apprehension. EMDR is performed to aid in reprocessing an upsetting swimming event. Their coping beliefs are measured and anxiety levels checked prior to and after the events. Positive visualization is part of EMDR and used to prepare and intervene any potential inhibiting negative expectations.
EMDR Supports Performance Recovery: Case Example
An example of an athlete having a traumatic experience in swimming is this: She hit her head on a wall after which she sunk to the bottom of the swimming pool. She gulped lots of water and for a moment, she knew she would die. This nasty experience gave her a rough time whenever she had to swim. During EMDR, she had to recount the event almost as though she was going through it all over again. Physical, psychological and emotional feelings were relieved in her mind’s eye. This allowed her to reprocess the event and resolve some of the conflicts in a more adaptive style.
The same applies to other games like skiing, mountain climbing, snowboarding and mountain biking. They too, have caused performers to have injuries that took time to heal. After going through a nasty experience like an injury or a failure contrary to expectation, EMDR therapy can be a solution. It helps a performer to regain a competitive edge and remove mental barriers that may prevent an athlete from achieving their objective. It helps one by putting the negative thoughts behind before a competition so that they can focus on the goal ahead of them.