Gerard uses light bar technology for EDMR therapy

Published 11:59 am Saturday, March 9, 2019

Thanks to a donation, Gerard Community Mental Health Services is able to enhance their quality of mental health care.

GCMHS purchased a light bar through a donation by Austin Eagles Lookout Aerie 703 that will be used during Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EDMR) therapy. EDMR is a mode of therapy that uses the brain’s built-in adaptive processing system to work through difficult past traumatic events that people sometimes get “stuck” on, according to Matthew Talmadge, GCMHS senior therapist.

“The disturbance could either be a major trauma or repeated smaller life events,” Talmadge said. “These traumatic events get stored in isolated pockets in our neurological system, with the original picture, thoughts, feelings, and body sensations. If something triggers them, they can come flooding into the present causing one to overreact to the current situation. This could present as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Depression, or Anxiety, as well as other issues.”

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Light bars are considered beneficial to this work by assisting clients to effectively and quickly take part in EMDR therapy by using the devices to engage in processing through traumatic events. It also offers multiple ways to receive feedback (tactilely, audibly and visually) to engage their brains in the process more fully and in whichever way works best for them as a person.

GCMHS currently has three therapists that are certified in EDMR therapy and are positive about this offering for their outpatient clients. The Eagles also hope to donate more resources to GCMHS for additional light bars.