What is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR Therapy is a powerful therapy that assists people to heal from traumatic events or life disturbing experiences. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy. Dr. Francine Shapiro is the founder of this world-renowned therapy that has helped countless people heal from PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder). EMDR provides relief from traumatic events, such as: rape, sexual abuse, severe anxiety, addictions, auto accidents, and combat.
People can also benefit from EMDR Therapy who have felt anguish and seek healing and wholeness after disturbing incidents, such as: divorce, life transitions, phobias, loss, or bullying. It is applicable for a wide range of psychological problems that result from overwhelming life experience.
When people endure great distress in their lives, they look desperately for a way to fix it. There are times when events happen, and the person struggles to find a way to process and incorporate that incident. That painful event can become an unprocessed memory and get locked in the brain producing symptoms that are troublesome. Thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and images related with the event, without treatment, may lead to upsetting symptoms and behaviors.
By accessing these memories in the context of a safe environment, the theory is that information processing is enhanced, with new associations forged between the traumatic memory and more adaptive memories or information. These new associations result in complete information processing, new learning, elimination of emotional distress, and the development of cognitive insights about the memories.
Laura S. Brown, Ph.D., past Recipient of the American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Public Service, states:
EMDR quickly opens new windows on reality, allowing people to see solutions within themselves that they never knew were there. And it’s a therapy where the client is very much in charge, which can be particularly meaningful when people are recovering from having their power taken away by abuse and violation.
EMDR is cost-effective, non-invasive, and an evidence-based method of psychotherapy that facilitates adaptive information processing. Robert Stickgold, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School, shares:
EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment which comprehensively identifies and addresses experiences that have overwhelmed the brain’s natural resilience or coping capacity and have thereby generated traumatic symptoms and/or harmful coping strategies. Through EMDR therapy, patients can reprocess traumatic information until it is no longer psychologically disruptive.
EMDR Therapy is designed to help a person identify and process these stuck pieces so that the symptoms can decrease, and one can feel more alive and less distressed. EMDR Therapy helps facilitate the activation of the brain’s inherent system to process and integrate the information that got stored or stuck. EMDR Therapy will not erase the memory; rather you will be able to remember the story without all the emotional charge that was distressing before the treatment.