What Is EMDR Therapy?
Changing the memories that form the way we see ourselves also changes the way we view others. Therefore, our relationships, job performance, what we are willing to do or are able to resist, all move in a positive direction.” – Francine Shapiro, Founder of EMDR therapy
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidenced-based psychotherapy method that was first studied and utilized as a therapy for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) . According to the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) EMDR is now highly utilized to treat multiple psychological issue including but not limited to personality disorders, eating disorders, panic attacks, performance anxiety, complicated grief, stress, dissociative disorders, disturbing memories, addictions, phobias, pain disorders, sexual and/or physical abuse and body dysmorphic disorders.
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 (EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Program).
During this procedure, patients tend to “process” the memory in a way that leads to a safe and 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 (EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Program).