EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an evidence based psychological treatment recommended by the World Health Organisation for the treatment of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
EMDR is also used in the treatment of depression, anxiety, addictions, phobias, performance anxiety and dissociation. It is also been found to be effective in pain management.
EMDR was developed in 1987 by Dr Francine Shapiro and is one of the most researched psycho-therapeutic approaches for the treatment of PTSD.
It is usual for the mind to heal itself naturally during sleep however some disturbing events can remain in memory and cause distress when we think about them. If the brain does not process stressful or traumatic experiences as it ordinarily does, the memory can become frozen in time. Remembering the distressing event can then be as bad as going through it for the first time.
During EMDR the therapist works with the client to identify a specific issue as the focus of the treatment session. The client brings to mind the disturbing issue or event and the therapist begins eye movements or other bilateral stimulation. The eye movements are used until the memory becomes less disturbing and associated with a positive thought or belief.
EMDR has a positive effect on how the brain processes information. Treatment using EMDR can result in the person no longer reliving the trauma and no longer experiencing flashbacks or nightmares. Memory of the event remains, but it is no longer distressing.
EMDR practitioners are qualified mental health professionals who have completed training in the use of EMDR.
Alpha Psychology Epping
Ref: ‘EMDR an Evidence based Psychological Treatment’
EMDR Association of Australia