EMDR Therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
Have you experienced a traumatic event in your life such as post war PTSD, childhood sexual abuse, substance abuse, self-mutilation, intense grief, phobias, panic attacks, anxiety, or the like? EMDR is a powerful psychotherapy technique that has been proven successful in shortening the therapeutic process by helping the client find breakthroughs when they become “frozen”. EMDR helps in changing negative internal messages into positive ones. EMDR’s therapy model works on the past, present, and future.
How does EMDR work? The client is asked to gently remember/revisit the traumatic experience surrounding many negative/positive feelings and memories. The therapist tracks eye movements by making bilateral movements from right to left (left to right) using eye scan lights, or other techniques such as a tapping tool to affect the same results. This is done by having the client focus on the memory and the more intensely the client focuses on the memory the more accessible the memory comes to life. These vibrant images are manifest by eye movements resulting in painful feelings being exchanged for more peaceful, loving and resolved feelings.
EMDR is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain's information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can causes intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.
Ladonna McBride, Ph.D., LCSW, LMFT, EMDR Certified