EMDR/Trauma

EMDR-plainEye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a powerful psychotherapy approach that has helped an estimated two million people of all ages relieve many types of psychological distress. No one knows how any form of psychotherapy works neurologically or in the brain. However, we do know that when a person is very upset, their brain cannot process information as it does ordinarily. One moment becomes ‘frozen in time,’ and remembering a trauma may feel as bad as going through it the first time because the images, sounds, smells, and feelings haven’t changed. Such memories have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person sees the world and the way they relate to other people.”

EMDR seem to have a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information. Normal information processing is resumed, so following a successful EMDR session, a person no longer relives the images, sounds, and feelings when the event is brought to mind. You still remember what happened, but it is less upsetting. Many types of therapy have similar goals. However, EMDR appears to be similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Therefore, EMDR can be thought of as a physiologically based therapy that helps a person see disturbing material in a new and less distressing way.”

During EMDR, the therapist works with the client to identify a specific problem as the focus of the treatment session.  The client calls to mind the disturbing event or issue, what was seen, felt, heard, thought, etc., and what thoughts and beliefs are currently held about that event.  The therapist facilitates the directional movement of the eyes or other dual stimulation of the brain, while the client focuses on the disturbing material, and the client just notices whatever comes to mind without making an effort to control direction or content.

EDMR:Trauma

Each person will process information uniquely, based on personal experiences and values. Sets of eye movements are continued until the memory becomes less disturbing and is associated with positive thoughts and beliefs about one’s self. During EMDR, the client may experience intense emotions, but by the end of the session, most people report a great reduction in the level of disturbance.”

A typical EMDR session lasts approximately one hour to 90 minutes. The type of problem, life circumstances, and the amount of previous trauma will determine how many treatment sessions are necessary. EMDR may be used within a standard ‘talking’ therapy, as an adjunct therapy with a separate therapist, or as a treatment all by itself.”

Scientific research has established EMDR as effective for post-traumatic stress. However, clinicians also have reported success using EMDR in treatment of the following conditions:

Panic attacks    •    Stress reduction    •    Performance anxiety    •    Complicated grief
Addictions Sexual and/or physical abuse    •    Disturbing memories Pain disorder Phobias

Source: EMDR International Association