What Is It?
EMDR refers to Eye Movement Reprocessing and Desensitization, and was originally developed by Francine Shapiro (1986) to deal with Vietnam War Veterans experiencing Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.
How Can EMDR Help?
When a person is dealing with trauma or an overwhelming amount of stress, it is common for thoughts, feelings, and/or images to become stuck and frozen, creating negative and repetitive feedback loops. Another way of describing this behaviour is when people obsess or ruminate over certain things, and have a difficult time stopping the repetition.
EMDR is an effective way of breaking up the feedback loop which tends to separate a person’s deep emotional attachment to a memory. Accordingly, the memory is still there, but the negative experience shifts to neutral and /or positive, relieving the person of significant distress.
If you would like more detailed information on the process of EMDR, and what a typical session entails, attached is the link to an article Adapted from The Trauma Centre in the UK.
Since 1986, EMDR has been used to effectively deal with a wide range of problems including, but not limited to:
- General anxiety, phobias, and panic attacks
- Pain relief
- Self-esteem and Performance Anxiety
- Sleep Problems