What is EMDR? (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
EMDR is an approach to psychotherapy that can be interwoven with other therapeutic modalities. Overall, the length of treatment depends on a therapist’s assessment of the client’s needs and medical history. Both the therapist and the client establish a treatment plan, the therapist gently guides the client in identifying negative beliefs, thoughts, and emotions, and positive beliefs around an identified incident.
How does EMDR work?
EMDR consists of several phases: preparation, reprocessing and installation. The first phase is preparation, the most important step, in educating the client on how to emotionally self-regulate in between the sessions.
In the second phase, reprocessing, an identified traumatic memory/concern is brought to mind, together with deeply embodied emotional experiences and negative beliefs. The trained therapist applies bilateral stimulation, right/left eye movement, tactile stimulation, or sound to repeatedly activate the opposite sides of the brain. As a result, emotional, body and other sensory experiences are released and reprocessed.
In the third phase, focus is on “installing” and increasing the strength of the positive belief that the client has identified to replace the negative belief. Therefore new neurological pathways are rebuilt. EMDR makes it possible to gain the self-knowledge and perspective that will enable the client to choose their actions, rather than feeling powerless over their reactions.
Who can benefit from EMDR?
EMDR is highly effective for a wide range of disorders including chronic pain, phobias, depression, panic attacks, eating disorders, poor self-image, stress, worry, stage fright, performance anxiety, recovery from sexual abuse and other traumatic incidents.
For more information about EMDR check the official EMDRIA website: