Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is an evidence based form of psychotherapy effective in treating trauma and reducing negative emotions, symptoms of anxiety, negative belief systems, and distressing memories. EMDR is used to treat panic attacks, complicated grief, phobias, performance anxiety, stress reduction, additions, abuse, and eating disorders.

Goal of EMDR

EMDR processes unresolved disturbing experiences that cause unwanted symptoms in one's life, to achieve greater mental and emotional health and stability. ​EMDR has a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information. During traumatic events the brain does not process or store the information as it would in a neutral state, which can lead to lasting negative effects that interfere with the way a person perceives and experiences themselves, the world, and their place in the world. Negative emotions, beliefs, and body sensations caused by unresolved experiences can be released and reprocessed. Negative effects can be desensitized, and healthy emotions and thoughts scan be strengthened. Following successful EMDR treatment, when a previously traumatic event is brought to mind, a person no longer relives the images, sounds, and feelings in real time. One can remember what happened, but the memory becomes less disturbing.

Process of EMDR Therapy

EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment including history taking, preparation increasing tools for stabilization of emotions), assessment (identifying memories to target), desensitization (applying bi-lateral stimulation to the left and right hemispheres of the brain through eye-movements, tapping, or sounds), installation (strengthening a positive belief system), body scan (clearing any tension in the body related to the memory), closure, and re-evaluation. This process is believed to be connected with the biological mechanisms involved in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, when memories are processed in the brain.

For more information, go to EMDR International Association: https://www.emdria.com