What is EMDR Therapy?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from different treatment approaches.
How does EMDR work?
EMDR therapy is an integrative psychotherapy and uses a technique called bilateral stimulation to repeatedly activate opposite sides of the brain. Therapists often use eye movements to facilitate the bilateral stimulation. These eye movements mimic the period of sleep referred to as rapid eye movement or REM sleep, and this portion of sleep is frequently considered to be the time when the mind processes the recent events in the person’s life.
“The past affects the present even without our being aware of it.”
– Francine Shapiro, creator of EMDR
EMDR seems to help the brain reprocess the trapped memories is such a way that normal information processing is resumed. Therapists often use EMDR to help clients uncover and process beliefs that developed as the result of relational traumas, or childhood abuse and/or neglect. For a more detailed explanation please visit EMDR Institute, Inc.
What does EMDR help?
EMDR had been originally established as helpful for PTSD, although it’s been proven useful for treatment in a variety of conditions. Do you experience distressing emotions that appear to you, and perhaps to others, to be excessive given the current situation? Do you tend to be highly reactive to certain triggers? Is there one or more dysfunctional belief that you believe about yourself that on an intellectual level you know is not true? If so, you may be a good candidate for EMDR therapy.