Therapeutic Goals of EMDR

I was privileged to sit in on a lecture by Francine Shapiro, creator of EMDR. This was one of her last lectures since she will be taking an extended sabbatical soon. She has been working non-stop for close to 40 years. She spoke about the therapeutic goals of EMDR, which were three-fold. 1. Eliminate the suffering and symptoms from traumatic experiences 2. Help clients become healthy adults by teaching them how to self-soothe, feel the full range of emotions, and maintain a sense of self and an awareness of themselves in relationships. 3. Be integral members of society by interacting and bonding appropriately with others, having resilience, a positive outlook and coping adaptively to life’s challenges, and setting healthy boundaries, empathizing and contributing in positive ways.

These goals should resonate with all therapists. No matter what therapeutic techniques we use with clients, the results we are looking for fall into Francine’s list. Many therapists, myself included, use different approaches depending on the needs of individual clients. My experience using EMDR as a primary therapy over the years leads me to believe that it can be deeply impactful, helping clients become happier, more resilient and more productive individuals, no matter what emotional issues brought them into therapy.

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