What is it? EMDR stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. Not the best name, I know. It is a therapy developed by Francine Shapiro a Psychologist and educator. It is a protocol that has been rigorously tested and proven to be effective in treating PTSD and traumatic stress.
What does it treat? EMDR treats Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with high effectiveness. It is also helpful for people who have experienced traumas and may not have developed full blown PTSD, but have distress related to the events. Research has shown EMDR to be helpful for people who have experienced some sort or trauma or traumas, sexual, physical and/or emotional abuse, phobias and anxiety disorders.
How does it work? It can be helpful to think of EMDR as brain processing vs the standard talk therapy. A licensed and trained clinician will complete a full assessment to determine if EMDR is right for you.
EMDR is a 3 pronged protocol that involves:
reprocessing of the primary events
the present stimuli and
By nature, human beings are prone to move toward a state of mental health. The brains information processing system has a natural tendency to be healthy. When the system is blocked due to the traumatic event being stored incorrectly, the information processing system cannot operate the way it is intended to. EMDR activates the information processing system to restore balance and move the traumatic memories toward resolution. In this way, the memories no longer hold the negative charge they once did and people can experience relief.
EMDR utilizes bilateral stimulation (stimulation of both sides of the brain) to accomplish the task of activating the information processing system areas of the brain. This is accomplished through rapid eye movements, tapping on both sides of the body or holding vibration tools in each hand.
There are five basic components that receive attention during an EMDR session:
the physical sensations
the perception of the disturbance.
A licensed and trained clinician will guide you through the process of activating the information processing system while paying special attention to what arises during the session in relation to these five areas.
It is important to note that this is a very simplified version of what happens during EMDR therapy. EMDR is not something that people should attempt to do on themselves or with an untrained clinician. There are risks involved and these risks are better addressed by someone who has been fully trained in this specific therapeutic modality and knows how to help you to handle them. In fact, it takes licensed clinicians 50 hours of training to be able to implement EMDR into their practice and then they are required to get regular consultation and supervision from other more well trained clinicians.
EMDR can provide rapid relief to some people due to the way that EMDR activates the information processing system. If you would like more specific information,
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