Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Therapy is a breakthrough therapy with special capacity to overcome the effects of psychological trauma. It was developed by Francine Shapiro, PhD, an American psychologist, in the late 1980s. Controlled research studies consistently demonstrated EMDRs efficacy and effectiveness.
Initially, EMDR was utilized and studied as a therapy for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) which was itself a relatively new
diagnosis. There are clinical trials well in the thousands now affirming the efficacy of EMDR in treating trauma, attesting to its value and demonstrating its usefulness across all ages, genders, and cultures for post-traumatic stress disorders. Tens of thousands of clinicians have been trained in EMDR therapy and have applied the defining protocols of this psychotherapy to many other conditions, including: Personality disorders, eating disorders, panic attacks, performance anxiety, complicated grief, stress reduction, dissociative disorders, disturbing memories, addictions, phobias, pain disorders, sexual and/or physical abuse and body dismorphic disorders.
EMDR therapy is a cost-effective, non-invasive, evidence-based method of psychotherapy that facilitates adaptive information processing. 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 are able to reprocess traumatic information until it is no longer psychologically disruptive.
During this procedure, patients tend to “process” the memory in a way that leads to a peaceful resolution. This often results in increased insight regarding both previously disturbing events and long held negative thoughts about the self. For example, an assault victim may come to realize that he was not to blame for what happened, that the event is really over, and, as a result he can regain a general sense of safety in his world.
Since the development of EMDR therapy, many adaptations of the therapy have been established to address particular types of
psychological problems such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), however all specialized applications rest on EMDRs basic protocols and concept of adaptive information processing.
EMDR has also been used effectively in the treatment of children who have experienced trauma such as great loss or child abuse.