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. Since this time, EMDR has been used to effectively deal with a wide range of problems including, but not limited to:
- general anxiety, phobias and panic attacks
- sleep problems
- pain relief
- self-esteem and performance anxiety
How does 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 loops 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.