EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact 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 or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.
It is important to note that like all other therapies and treatments, EMDR may or may not be appropriate for you. Your therapist will assess the appropriateness upon meeting. If it is not appropriate, then there are other interventions, treatments, and modalities to draw from that may be more effective for your healing process.
What Does EMDR Treat?
|Anxiety||Disturbing Memories||Eating Disorders|
|Panic Attacks||Complicated Grief||Stress Reduction|
|Performance Anxiety||Abuse||Pain Disorders|
Does EMDR Really Work?
More than 30 positive controlled outcome studies have been done on EMDR therapy. Some of the studies show that 84%-90% of single-trauma victims no longer have post-traumatic stress disorder after only three 90-minute sessions. Another study, funded by the HMO Kaiser Permanente, found that 100% of the single-trauma victims and 77% of multiple trauma victims no longer were diagnosed with PTSD after only six 50-minute sessions. In another study, 77% of combat veterans were free of PTSD in 12 sessions. There has been so much research on EMDR therapy that it is now recognized as an effective form of treatment for trauma and other disturbing experiences by organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organization and the Department of Defense. Given the worldwide recognition as an effective treatment of trauma, you can easily see how EMDR therapy would be effective in treating the “everyday” memories that are the reason people have low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness, and all the myriad problems that bring them in for therapy. Over 100,000 clinicians throughout the world use the therapy. Millions of people have been treated successfully over the past 25 years.*
Information provided by EMDR Institute, Inc. (http://www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr/)
* Although EMDR can be highly effective, sometimes there are complications, such as complex trauma, complex childhood trauma, dissociation/depersonalization, difficulty in self-soothing, etc., that may extend the period of time for preparation before processing with EMDR. For further questions, please contact Holly.