(Eye Movement Desentization and Reprocessing)
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a comprehensive and integrative form of psychotherapy that enables people to rapidly heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR, clients are able to expeditiously experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. EMDR has been declared an effective form of treatment for trauma, anxiety, panic, disturbing memories, and post traumatic stress by various organizations including: The American Psychiatric Association, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and the Department of Defense and Veterans affairs.
The goal of EMDR therapy is to process distressing memories, reducing their lingering effects, allowing clients to develop more adaptive coping mechanisms. This is done in an eight-phase approach that includes having clients recall a stressful past event and “reprogramming” the memory in the light of a positive, self-chosen belief, while receiving one of several types of bilateral sensory input (right/left eye movement, or tactile stimulation). This activates opposite sides of the brain and activates the limbic system. As this happens, for reasons believed to be connected with the biological mechanisms involved in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, internal associations arise and the clients begin to process the memory and disturbing feelings. It also allows the body to release negative experiences that are “trapped” in the nervous system. Thus, allowing the neurophysiological system (the mind body connection) to free itself of blockages and reconnect itself. The net effect is that clients conclude EMDR therapy feeling empowered by the very experiences that once debased them. Their wounds have not just closed, they have transformed.
For more information about EMDR, go to: www.emdria.org