EMDR Therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a client-centered psychotherapy treatment developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro to help people heal from emotional wounds, blocks, and limitations. Since the late 1980’s, thousands of therapists internationally have been successfully using EMDR Therapy to speed up the healing of PTSD, depression, panic attacks, and other disorders.
EMDR Therapy is based on the concept that the information processing system in the brain gets blocked when traumatic events occur. These events get locked in the brain with the original picture, sounds, thoughts, feelings, and body sensations. Whenever a reminder of the traumatic event comes up, those pictures, thoughts, feelings, and sensations can continue to be triggered.
Many emotional and behavioral symptoms are the result of these unprocessed trauma memories. EMDR Therapy helps the brain reprocess the old memories while incorporating more recently acquired positive coping skills and beliefs. The result is the relief of the emotional distress and the reduction or elimination of symptoms of the psychological disorder.
The effectiveness of EMDR Therapy is supported by many controlled empirical studies; in fact, EMDR Therapy is the most researched psychotherapeutic treatment for PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). EMDR Therapy has been approved as an effective and exceptional treatment for PTSD by the American Psychological Association, the Department of Defense, the World Health Organization and the Veterans Administration.
Studies have also investigated the efficacy of EMDR Therapy in treating various mental disorders, including specific phobias, performance anxiety, panic disorder, trauma symptoms in children, complicated mourning, and chronic pain. The results are promising, and research is ongoing. For references to the specific studies and more details, please visit www.emdr.org and www.emdria.org.
To watch a quick video about EMDR, please click here.
Questions clients should ask their therapist when considering EMDR Therapy treatment:
- What is Adaptive Information Processing?
- Please explain the eight phases of EMDR.
- What is the three-pronged approach?
- How will you prepare me for EMDR?
What makes a good EMDR THERAPIST? How to tell if your EMDR therapist is legitimate?
- Was your therapist trained by an EMDRIA – approved trainer in levels 1 and 2 of Basic Training?
- Has your therapist received consultation? Reached EMDRIA certification?
- Does your therapist attend advanced trainings in EMDR Therapy regularly?
- What advanced protocols does he/she practice?