Eye Movement Desensitization
My first experience with
EMDR was in 1997 when I attended a training in this “power” therapy. During the practice portion of the seminar, I was stunned at the depth of emotion and cognitive processing that I was able to achieve in a 20 minute period. I knew that because I myself was able to resolve a disturbing memory in this most unlikely setting – a large room filled with virtual strangers – the method could help relieve suffering for many, especially in the privacy and comfort of my office.
EMDR is an extraordinary method of therapy developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro in 1987. Based on the chance observation that eye movements can reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts under certain conditions, her scientific research proved the success of
EMDR in treating victims of trauma. Subsequently, the method has been expanded to include other varieties of stimulation besides eye movements.
EMDR has also proven effective in relieving anxiety, stress and other psychological issues in addition to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Integrating elements from different treatment approaches – imagery, cognitive, emotional and body awareness -
EMDR seems to have a direct effect on the way that the brain functions. Incidents and issues that evoked stress at the beginning of a session can be processed in a rapid way so that a new, more resourceful perspective is achieved. A painful memory may be resolved as it is associated with a more positive thought and belief about oneself; for example, “I did the best I could.”
EMDR session, a client calls to mind the disturbing issue or event to be cleared. My role is to facilitate setting up an appropriate target according to the
EMDR protocol and to guide the bilateral stimulation of the brain. This can be done either:
- by alternating tapping movements on the client
Visually - through shifting eye movements;
Auditorially -by alternating sounds to the right and left ear; or
During that portion of stimulation, the client recalls and integrates various aspects of the issue, with or without talking about it.
EMDR is a method used within standard “talking” therapy, as an adjunct to therapy, or as a treatment all by itself. In a short period of time, it can be remarkably effective for relieving long-held suffering.
For further information, scientific research references and more about
see www.emdr.com or
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