EMDR stands for Eye-movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. EMDR is a therapy developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro to help people process disturbing events, such as auto accidents, rape, sexual abuse, and combat events, in a more neutral way. Symptoms associated with traumatic events, typically known as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) can be resolved with EMDR treatment.
Overwhelming traumatic events tend to stifle brain integration so these events get stuck and stored incorrectly in the brain resulting in disturbing symptoms. The images, thoughts and sensations associated with the trauma become “stuck” in the brain. EMDR is utilized by accessing bilateral stimulation to help the brain get “unstuck” by reprocessing the traumatic event more adaptively, thereby reducing or eliminating disturbing symptoms.
EMDR originally was used to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for veterans but is now supported by numerous research studies to treat not only PTSD, but also anxiety, depression, grief, addictions, abuse, stress reduction. EMDR is used with chronic pain and health issues that often result from past traumatic events and/or faulty brain integration processes.
EMDR is a synthesis of a variety of therapy techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral (CBT), Mindfulness, and somatic treatments. EMDR does not eliminate memories, but integrates them so that disturbing symptoms are no longer present. Individuals report remembering the events, without emotional distress and upset.
Issues commonly addressed by EMDR:
- Childhood Abuse/neglect
- Eating Disorders
- Body Image
- Adult Child of Alcoholics
- Performance Anxiety
- Chronic Pain