EMDR- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Easy Quick Explanation
Who is it for? Children and Adults both can benefit from EMDR. It is used in treatment for PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Eating disorders, Grief, Trauma, Developmental Trauma, Phobias, and much more. It targets negative beliefs associated with negative memories that we experienced throughout our lives in order to help an individual feel better physically and mentally.
Eye Movements: EMDR uses eye movements (or bi-lateral stimulation) in order to help desensitize a memory. It is similar to REM sleep, where your eyes dart back and forth to help process the information from the day and store it appropriately in your subconscious.
Desensitization: By activating a disturbing memory or event we use eye-movements or bi-lateral stimulation to desensitize the disturbing event in order to support the brain and nervous system in healing. Think of it as putting the fire out- there's no more heat in a memory that causes distress.
Reprocessing: Reprocessing a memory helps store that memory in a healthy way so you are no longer bothered by thoughts, sensations, or triggers stemming from an event. (Ex. Childhood experiences may have led to negative beliefs about oneself or somatic experiences of anxiety or depression. Reprocessing those memories will lead to an adaptive positive sense of self).
More Detailed Explanation..
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. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal.
EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma. 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.
More than 30 positive controlled outcome studies have been done on EMDR therapy. Some of the studies show that 84%-90% of single-trauma victims no longer have post-traumatic stress disorder after only three 90-minute sessions. Another study, funded by the HMO Kaiser Permanente, found that 100% of the single-trauma victims and 77% of multiple trauma victims no longer were diagnosed with PTSD after only six 50-minute sessions. In another study, 77% of combat veterans were free of PTSD in 12 sessions. There has been so much research on EMDR therapy that it is now recognized as an effective form of treatment for trauma and other disturbing experiences by organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organization and the Department of Defense. Given the worldwide recognition as an effective treatment of trauma, you can easily see how EMDR therapy would be effective in treating the “everyday” memories that are the reason people have low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness, and all the myriad problems that bring them in for therapy. Over 100,000 clinicians throughout the world use the therapy. Millions of people have been treated successfully over the past 25 years.
EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment. Eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation) are used during one part of the session. After the clinician has determined which memory to target first, he asks the client to hold different aspects of that event or thought in mind and to use his eyes to track the therapist’s hand as it moves back and forth across the client’s field of vision. As this happens, for reasons believed by a Harvard researcher to be connected with the biological mechanisms involved in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, internal associations arise and the clients begin to process the memory and disturbing feelings. In successful EMDR therapy, the meaning of painful events is transformed on an emotional level. For instance, a rape victim shifts from feeling horror and self-disgust to holding the firm belief that, “I survived it and I am strong.” Unlike talk therapy, the insights clients gain in EMDR therapy result not so much from clinician interpretation, but from the client’s own accelerated intellectual and emotional processes. The net effect is that clients conclude EMDR therapy feeling empowered by the very experiences that once debased them. Their wounds have not just closed, they have transformed. As a natural outcome of the EMDR therapeutic process, the clients’ thoughts, feelings and behavior are all robust indicators of emotional health and resolution—all without speaking in detail or doing homework used in other therapies.
Information provided by Emdr.com For more information visit: https://www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr/