About EMDR

What is EMDR ? 

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 Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a powerful method of psychotherapy. To date, EMDR has helped an estimated two million people of all ages relieve many types of psychological distress.

How Does EMDR Work?

No one knows how any form of psychotherapy works neurobiologically  or in the brain.  However, we do know that when a person is very upset,  their brain cannot process information as it does ordinarily. One  moment becomes “frozen in time,” and remembering a trauma may  feel as bad as going through it the first time because the images,  sounds, smells, and feelings haven’t changed. Such memories have  a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person sees the  world and the way they relate to other people.

EMDR seems to have a direct effect on the way that the brain  processes information. Normal information processing is resumed, so  following a successful EMDR session, a person no longer relives the  images, sounds, and feelings when the event is brought to mind. You  still remember what happened, but it is less upsetting. Many types of  therapy have similar goals. However, EMDR appears to be similar to  what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement)  sleep. Therefore, EMDR can be thought of as a physiologically based  therapy that helps a person see disturbing material in anew and less  distressing way.

WHAT KIND OF PROBLEMS CAN EMDR TREAT?

Scientific research has established EMDR as effective for  post- traumatic stress . However, clinicians also have reported  success using EMDR in treatment of the following conditions: 

  • Phobias
  • Trauma 
  • Disturbing memories 
  • Complicated grief 
  • Sexual and/or physical abuse 
  • Eating disorders 
  • Panic attacks 
  • Performance anxiety 
  • Stress reduction 
  • Pain disorders 
  • Dissociative disorder 
  • Addictions 
  • Personality disorders 
  • Body dysmorphic disorders 


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