What is EMDR Therapy?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from different treatment approaches.

What does EMDR help?

EMDR had been originally established as helpful for PTSD, although it’s been proven useful for treatment in the following conditions:

  • Panic Attacks
  • Grief
  • Disturbing Memories
  • Phobias
  • Anxiety
  • Stress Reduction
  • Sexual and/or Physical Abuse

How does EMDR work?

EMDR uses a technique called “bilateral stimulation” to repeatedly activate opposite sides of the brain. Therapists often use eye movements or knee tapping to facilitate bilateral stimulation. These eye movements mimic the period of sleep referred to as rapid eye movement or REM sleep, and this portion of sleep is frequently considered to be the time when the mind processes the recent events in the person’s life.

EMDR seems to help the brain reprocess the trapped memories is such a way that normal information processing is resumed. Therapists often use EMDR to help clients uncover and process beliefs resulting from relational traumas or childhood abuse and/or neglect.

For more about EMDR, check out some articles I’ve written on the topic:


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