Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy treatment that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of traumatic life experiences, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, addictions, eating disorders, etc. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. Clinical studies show that by using EMDR therapy, people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy much more quickly. EMDR shows that the mind can, in fact, recover from psychological trauma much as the body heals from physical trauma in a much shorter time than just using straight talk psychotherapy.
EMDR therapy (Shapiro, 2001) was initially developed in 1987 for the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). EMDR can be used once or twice a week for six to ten sessions, although many benefit from fewer sessions.
PTSD and other disorders that are a result from past traumas and other disturbing experiences which continue to cause stress can be significantly reduced or eliminated altogether. These unprocessed memories contain the emotions and, in some cases, the physical sensations that occurred at the time of the event. When these memories are triggered, the stored traumas resurface causing the symptoms of PTSD and other disorders.
Unlike traditional talk therapy that focuses directly on altering the emotions, thoughts and responses resulting from traumatic experiences, EMDR therapy focuses directly on the memory. This is intended to change the way that the memory is stored in the brain, which can reduce or eliminate the symptoms.
During EMDR, studies show that an accelerated learning process is stimulated by EMDR’s standardized procedures, which incorporate the use of eye movements and other forms of rhythmic bilateral (left-right) stimulation (BLS) with the use of taps and/or tones. While clients focus on the trauma memory and simultaneously experience BLS, the vividness and emotion of the memory are reduced.