Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing – developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro, is a therapy that helps people relieve pain and suffering caused by traumatic events that leave them in a state of distress. EMDR helps people clear past traumas in order to feel more present, satisfied, and effective in their lives. EMDR is an inclusive therapy that integrates different aspects of various psychotherapeutic traditions. The goal of this therapy is to empower people to feel, think and behave in new and healthier ways. EMDR was developed to treat PTSD, but has been found to be effective in treating most emotional issues including low self-esteem, depression and anxiety, as well as diminishing triggers and cravings connected to addictive or compulsive behaviors.

Trauma causes disruptions in the normal information processing system of the body, resulting in disturbing memories that are dysfunctionally stored at the time of the event. That is, they are stored in a way that does not allow them to link to any positive or adaptive networks. EMDR techniques are used to reprocess these negative, disturbing memories allowing them to connect to positive memory networks. This results in desensitization of the emotional and physical disturbance, and new learning to become available for more positive current and future life experiences.