Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. Developed in 1987, psychologist Dr. Francine Shapiro made the chance observation that eye movements can reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts, under certain conditions. Dr. Shapiro studied this effect scientifically and, in 1989, she reported success using EMDR to treat victims of trauma in the Journal of Traumatic Stress. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. To date, EMDR therapy has helped millions of people of all ages relieve many types of psychological stress.
WHAT MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS DOES EMDR HELP?
EMDR can be very helpful for a variety of mental health conditions to include:
- Post Traumatic Stress (PTS/PTSD)
- Panic Attacks
- Performance Anxiety
- Complicated Grief
- Dissociative Disorders
- Pain disorders
- Stress Reduction
- Body Dysmorphic Disorders
- Personality Disorders
HOW DOES EMDR WORK?
No one knows how any form of psychotherapy works neurobiologically or in the brain (EMDRIA, 2017). What we do know is that when a person is experiencing high levels of emotional disturabce or a traumatic event, their brain cannot process information as it usually does.
Intense emotional pain and trauma is like having a splinter on your hand. If left there the splinter will become infected, fester and cause pain. The body will naturally work to close the wound and get rid of the splinter. Once the splinter is removed healing can begin. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma (EMDR Institute, Inc., 2017). The information processing system of the brain moves towards balance and optimal mental health. If the information processing system is blocked or disregulated by emotional suffering/trauma intense suffering can occur.
Using the protocols and procedures set forth by the eight phases of EMDR therapist can help clients to remove the blockage and help clients activate their natural healing processes.
Please see the following video in regards to EMDR from the EMDR International Association.
|(Please be mindful when watching this video as clients do disclose parts of their trauma in an effector to explain EMDR and its effectiveness in reprocessing and resolving trauma. )|
Interested in more infomration about EMDR and what an EMDR session is like? Click on the link below to direct you the the EMDRIA site: