What is EMDR

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a psychotherapy approach that was developed by Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s to help individuals who have experienced trauma and are struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other distressing memories. EMDR is an evidence-based therapy that has been shown to be effective in reducing the symptoms of trauma and helping individuals process and integrate traumatic memories.

Why is This Treatment Used?

EMDR is a unique approach to healing that doesn't require you to rehash distressing experiences. Instead, EMDR focuses on transforming the way you think, feel, and behave after trauma, allowing your brain to naturally heal. But wait, did you know that your mind and brain are actually different? Your brain is an organ, while your mind is the incredible collection of thoughts, memories, beliefs, and experiences that shape your identity. The way your mind works is intricately connected to the structure of your brain, with complex networks of communicating cells. And guess what? This connectivity is especially strong when it comes to your memories and senses. That's why certain sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and sensations can trigger powerful recollections. Ready to unlock the potential of your mind-brain connection? Dive into the world of EMDR therapy today.

The primary goal of EMDR is to help individuals reprocess traumatic memories so that they are no longer as distressing and disruptive. During EMDR sessions, a trained therapist guides the individual in a series of structured phases. One of the key components of EMDR is bilateral stimulation, which can involve the therapist moving their fingers back and forth in front of the client's eyes, using hand-held buzzers, or other methods to create a rhythmic left-right movement. This bilateral stimulation is believed to help the brain process traumatic memories more effectively.

The EMDR process generally includes the following phases:

  1. History-taking and treatment planning: The therapist assesses the individual's history, symptoms, and goals for therapy.
  2. Preparation: The individual is educated about EMDR and the therapeutic process to ensure they are prepared for the experience.
  3. Assessment: The therapist and individual identify specific target memories or experiences to work on during EMDR.
  4. Desensitization: During this phase, the individual focuses on the traumatic memory while simultaneously experiencing the bilateral stimulation. The goal is to reduce the emotional charge associated with the memory.
  5. Installation: Positive beliefs and self-statements are introduced and linked to the previously distressing memory.
  6. Body Scan: The individual is guided to notice and address any residual physical tension or sensations related to the traumatic memory.
  7. Closure: The session is completed, and the individual is provided with techniques to manage any distress that may arise outside of therapy.
  8. Reevaluation: Subsequent sessions may include revisiting the memory to ensure that the desensitization process was effective.

EMDR is considered a short-term therapy, and the number of sessions required can vary depending on the individual's specific needs and the complexity of their trauma. Research has shown that EMDR can be an effective treatment for PTSD and trauma-related issues, and it is used by many mental health professionals to help clients process and heal from traumatic experiences. It is important to seek out a trained and licensed EMDR therapist for this type of therapy.  The team at EMDR