Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a powerful method of Psychotherapy. To date, EMDR has helped an estimated two million people of all ages relieve many types of Psychological distress.
HOW WAS EMDR DEVELOPED?
In 1987, psychologist Dr. Francine Shapiro made the chance observation that eye movements can reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts, under certain conditions. She studied this effect scientifically and in a 1989 issue of the Journal of Traumatic Stress, she reported success using EMDR to treat victims of trauma. Since then, EMDR has developed and evolved through the contribution of therapists and researchers all over the world. Today, EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
No one knows how any form of psychotherapy works neurobiologically or in the brain for sure. However, we do know that when a person is very upset, their brain cannot process information as it does ordinarily. One moment becomes “frozen in time”, and remembering a trauma may feel as bad as going through it the first time because the images, sounds, smells, and feelings have not changed. EMDR seems to have a direct effect on the way the brain processes information. EMDR can be thought of as a physiologically based therapy that helps a person see disturbing material in a new and less distressing way.
WHAT KIND OF PROBLEMS CAN EMDR TREAT?
Scientific research has established EMDR as effective for post traumatic stress. Approximately 20 controlled studies have investigated the effects of EMDR and have found consistently that EMDR effectively decreases/eliminates the symptoms of post traumatic stress for the majority of clients. However, clinicians have also reported success using EMDR in treatment of the following conditions:
*personality disorders *panic attacks
*complicated grief *dissociative disorders
*disturbing memories *phobias
*pain disorders *eating disorders
*performance anxiety *stress reduction
*addictions *sexual and/or physical abuse
*body dysmorphic disorders
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
One or more sessions are required for the therapist to understand the nature of the problem and to decide if EMDR is an appropriate treatment. The typical EMDR session lasts from 60 to 90 minutes. The type of problem, life circumstance, and the amount of previous trauma will determine how many sessions are necessary. EMDR may be used within a standard “talking” therapy, as an adjunctive therapy with a separate therapist, or as a treatment all by itself.
WHAT IS THE EMDR INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION?
EMDRIA is a membership organization of mental health professionals dedicated to the highest standards of excellence and integrity in EMDR.
To learn more about EMDR contact EMDRIA at www.emdria.org