Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, “EMDR Therapy”
EMDR is a psychotherapy that was developed by American clinical psychologist, Dr. Francine Shapiro. EMDR has helped over two million people heal from symptoms of emotional distress including: trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, addictions (substance and behavioral), compulsive behavior (perfectionism and anger), sexual and/or physical abuse, dissociation, complicated grief, and performance anxiety.
Effectiveness of EMDR
EMDR therapy shows that the mind can heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object is stuck in the wound it can cause ongoing pain and prevent healing. Once the object or block is removed, healing occurs. EMDR therapy works in a similar process with memories of distressing experiences that may be stuck and cause intense mental distress. EMDR helps the brain remove the block so healing can occur.
What is EMDR Therapy like?
EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment. Eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation) are used during one phase of treatment and part of a session. After we determine which memory to target first, I will typically ask the client to hold different aspects of that event or thought in mind and to use their eyes to track my hand as it moves back and forth across their field of vision. I will also ask questions during and after the process of bilateral stimulation. In successful EMDR therapy, the meaning of painful events is transformed on an emotional level. Therefore, the memory of a disturbing event no longer causes distress or as much of an emotional burden.
Clients often feel empowered at the conclusion of EMDR therapy by the very experiences that once caused distress. Research has shown that EMDR Therapy can be an efficient and rapid treatment.
EMDR Research and International Recognition
Studies show that it is possible to alleviate distressing symptoms more rapidly with EMDR than with talk therapy alone. In one study, funded by the HMO Kaiser Permanente, PTSD was eliminated for 100% of people who had experienced a single traumatic event and for 77% who had experienced multiple traumas after completing six 50-minute sessions. Discussing the details of a traumatic experience is not required in EMDR sessions, therefore the anxiety associated with confronting and revealing those details may be alleviated.
EMDR has been accepted as an effective form of treatment for PTSD by several major health organizations including the World Health Organization, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, United Kingdom Department of Health, the Israeli National Council for Mental Health and many other international health agencies.
Call today for more information on how EMDR can help you!