WHAT IS EMDR THERAPY?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma.
HOW DOES EMDR THERAPY WORK?
When a person is very distressed, their brain cannot process information as it normally does. A moment can become “frozen in time,” and remembering it may feel as bad as going through it the first time because the images, sounds, smells, and feelings haven’t changed. These memories may be upsetting and unresolved and have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person sees the world and the way they relate to other people.
EMDR therapy seems to have a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information. Normal information processing is resumed, and the memories become “unfrozen”. The memory is stored the way other memories have been stored in the brain. Following a successful EMDR therapy session, a person no longer relives the images, sounds, and feelings when the event is brought to mind. You still remember what happened, but it is less upsetting. EMDR therapy can be thought of as a physiologically based therapy that helps a person see disturbing material in a new and less distressing way. More info on trauma and the brain here.
Through EMDR therapy, resolution of distressing life events is accomplished with a standardized set of clinical protocols that incorporates alternating bilateral stimulation (visual, auditory and/or tactile). For more information, please go to EMDRIA.org or watch this video.
I’ll tell you what freedom is to me. No fear.
– Nina Simone –
What does EMDR help?
EMDR had been originally established as helpful for PTSD, although it’s been proven useful for treatment in the following conditions:
- Panic Attacks
- Complicated Grief
- Dissociative Orders
- Disturbing Memories
- Pain Disorders
- Performance Anxiety
- Stress Reduction
- Sexual and/or Physical Abuse
- Body Dysmorphic Disorders
- Personality Disorders
EMDR for Perinatal Mental Health Mom & Mind podcast episode
EMDR Therapy and Pregnancy blog article
Trauma And The Brain explanation
EMDR explanation video