EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITIZATION & REPROCESSING
EMDR is a type of therapy that uses eye-movement stimulation paired with reflecting on a traumatic memory to desensitize and effectively manage traumatic memories. Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy, known as EMDR, is a clinically tested and well-researched form of therapy that is proven to aid those with PTSD symptoms recover from trauma. Research shows that EMDR is also useful in treating Anxiety, Depression, OCD, anger management issues, and addiction.
The American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the U.K. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs/Dept. of Defense, The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and the World Health Organization among many other national and international organizations recognize EMDR therapy as an effective treatment.
EMDR is different from other therapy approaches as it does not require extensive discussion surrounding the traumatic memory. EMDR doesn’t require clients to change their thoughts around the traumatic memory, it simply lets the brain resolve unprocessed emotions, effectively letting the brain “heal.” One of the biggest pros of this form of treatment is that it can be accomplished in just a few sessions, and has shown to be more cost effective than other types of therapy.
Our brains are inclined to heal from traumatic memories or events, this just helps remove roadblocks to expedite the process. We naturally have fight, flight or freeze responses to stress, and trauma can sometimes trigger our freeze response to get stuck- which leads people to feel as though they are stuck in their trauma, or constantly reliving it. EMDR combats this freeze response and lets the brain resume its normal healing. You will still remember the traumatic event, but you will be able to process it and move on without being frozen.
EMDR is beneficial for those with PTSD, OCD, Anxiety, Depression, Sexual Assault survivors, and those suffering from the effects of any trauma.
If the client and therapist decide EMDR is a good fit, treatment can be accomplished in eight phases. In 45-60 minute sessions, EMDR will use eye movement to combat the negative emotion or body sensation associated with the trauma. EMDR can be used in conjunction with talk-therapy or by itself.