What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a new type of therapy proving to help clients find relief faster. EMDR therapy is a comprehensive psychotherapy developed by Francine Shapiro over 25 years ago. Dr. Shapiro discovered that eye movements have a desensitizing effect on the nervous system. This approach was initially developed to densensitize trauma but has since been found to be effective in the treatment of anxiety, phobias, depression, negative beliefs about oneself, anger issues, relationship problems, and many other client challenges.
How does EMDR work?
When something disturbing occurs, the brain is unable to process the information normally, as it does with normal every day events. A trained EMDR therapist uses bilateral stimulation while calling attention to specific memories that are improperly stored, directing the brain to use its natural ability to process information and allows it to properly process and store the disturbing memories that are causing the symptoms.
What should I expect from EMDR?
EMDR therapy is organized and administered in several phases.
- Psychosocial history
- Learning skills for managing emotion & disturbance
- Preparation prior to information reprocessing
- Bilateral stimulation sessions
What is the goal of EMDR?
The goal of EMDR therapy is to reprocess improperly stored disturbing information in the brain without reliving the bad experiences and memories associated with it. The point is to reprocess the information from a current perspective rather than being re-traumatized.
Once a client is properly prepared, a trained EMDR therapist will help the person to access fragments of memory in the brain, then begin the reprocessing phase by implementing bilateral eye movements, tactile, or auditory stimulation. Breaks between sets of bilateral stimulation will provide an opportunity for clients to report what he or she is noticing before reprocessing continues. It may take several sessions of reprocessing but generally, information moves much faster than in traditional talk therapy sessions, giving a client relief in a shorter period of time.
Please note: EMDR therapy will typically require a longer session period (usually 1.5 hours).