About EMDR Therapy
What is EMDR Therapy?
As defined by the EMDR Institute: “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.”
What kinds of problems can EMDR Therapy treat?
EMDR is an evidenced based therapy for the treatment of trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and is recommended by the World Health Organization and Department of Veteran’s Affairs. In addition, EMDR is used to treat:
- Disturbing Memories
- Stress Reduction
- Relationship Difficulties Such As Struggles With Attachment, Intimacy, or co-dependency
- Eating Disorders
- Body Dysmorphic Disorders
- Sexual And/Or Physical Abuse
- Panic Attacks
- Complicated Grief
- Dissociative Disorders
- Pain Disorders
- Performance Anxiety
- Personality Disorders
We all have unprocessed memories that get triggered when we feel anxious, fearful, sad, or angry and don’t know why. Even those of us with the best of childhoods still have experienced events such as being teased by one’s peers or let down by a loved one which may be inappropriately coloring perceptions and actions in the present. EMDR therapy can be effective in treating the “everyday” memories that underline upsetting beliefs and behavior patterns that are the reason people seek therapy
What can EMDR Therapy do to help?
“At the end of therapy, success would be defined by a person who can love, bond, feel secure, and find joy in living” –Francine Shapiro, founder of EMDR
EMDR International Association
EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs