EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) helps trauma to become “unstuck” and to be processed in a way that frees the individual from its debilitating effects. It has has been used to address panic attacks, grief, disturbing memories, phobias, pain disorders, anxiety, a history of abuse, and addictions in addition to problems related to unhealed traumatic experiences.
EMDR is a body-oriented therapy that was developed in the late 1980’s by Dr. Francine Shapiro and was initially used to help people with post-traumatic stress from disturbing incidents they had experienced.
Initial successes prompted further development of the model, which has been heavily researched and shown to be effective for a variety of problems.
It is believed that EMDR works by prompting the nervous system’s natural healing mechanisms to address traumatic experiences that have become “frozen in time” and therefore not affected by the natural processes of healing we are all born with.
In an EMDR session, a person calls to mind disturbing events while the therapist facilitates dual stimulation of the mind through eye movements, auditory stimuli, or gentle tactile stimuli.
This process is gradual and respects the individual’s need for approaching trauma and disturbing emotional material in a way that does not overwhelm them or create additional crises.