EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It was developed by Francine Shaprio, PhD as a technique to treat people who have experienced trauma. She noticed that eye movements decrease the intensity of some thoughts. She developed the protocol and treatment method, which has been described to create mental process similar to REM sleep.
The treatment occurs in several stages starting with identifying upsetting events, developing coping mechanisms to assist during the processing then moving to identifying negative beliefs related to the event and bodily sensations activated and finally to the bilateral stimulation. Eye movements or other bilateral techniques are used to activate both sides of the brain alternately. While the bilateral stimulation is occurring the brain goes through a healing process of removing a block to healing and then beginning the healing process. The coping mechanisms can be used throughout to help tolerate the process. Then both the client and clinician monitor the process of healing and continue on as necessary with bilateral stimulation in following sessions until the intensity has decreased to a manageable or non-existent level. Very little talking about the upsetting event is necessary for resolution. While this can be a very intense process, it is very fast compared to straight talk therapy.
This form of therapy is well established as effective treatment for single-issue trauma, PTSD, and other upsetting and life disturbing problems. It can be used for phobias, anxiety, depression, as well as other issues that may be keeping you from living your life fully. Resolution can be achieved in as little as three sessions, but more complicated issues may take longer. If you have questions or would like to talk about this treatment option please contact me.