What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma and is considered an Evidenced Based Practice (EBP). To date, EMDR therapy has helped millions of people worldwide coping with varying degrees of trauma and psychological stress.
As Peter Levine explains, trauma is not necessarily about a particular event, but more about how an event or series of events, time period, impacted an individual psychologically, as well as their Central Nervous System (CNS). When an event is too overwhelming, or a person becomes very upset their brain and CNS is unable to process information and sufficiently discharge energy from the body, as it does ordinarily. One moment becomes “frozen in time”. Being confronted with triggers that somehow link to a trauma can feel as disturbing as going through it the first time. These triggers can be overt but also incredibly subtle as well, including images, sounds, smells, body sensations, and feelings. Such memories have a lasting negative effect that often interfere with the way a person perceives and experiences their world, their sense of self, and their relationships with others.
Research and practical application indicate that EMDR seems to have a direct effect on how our brain processes information. Through EMDR processing, normal information processing is restored. This means that the individual that underwent EMDR therapy is not as easily triggered by the images, sounds, and feelings that had been consciously and unconsciously associated with the disturbing event. One still remembers what happened, however the symptoms are softened and therefore less upsetting. There are other types of therapy with similar goals yet EMDR appears to be most similar to the process of our natural way of processing through dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.
For much more information about EMDR click on this link: EMDRIA Website and EMDR Institute Website.
For information about the DeTur Protocol (Desensitization of Triggers and Urge Reprocessing) EMDR Protocol for addiction and other dysfunctional behaviors click here: DeTur Protocol.