Facts About EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

Think About ItFacts about EMDR for those interested in using this type of therapy

  • EMDR is a psychological treatment that synthesizes physical brain stimulation with the best of what is known in the field of psychotherapy.
  • EMDR should not be regarded as a technique to serve as an adjunct to talk therapy. When best used, it is a complete and whole therapy.
  • EMDR treatment is noninvasive and the brain stimulation promotes a natural, safe healing response.
  • EMDR promotes the same benefits as those that occur during REM sleep, including the neutralization of negative, disturbing and unneeded psychological material while strengthening new learning, positive associations and pleasant memories.
  • EMDR was first tested and used to treat persons who had suffered severe traumas (for example: rape, war, and/or childhood abuse). The therapy was found to be extremely effective in helping trauma victims whether or not they had been previously treated with other approaches.
  • EMDR is used to treat a wide range of conditions. These include: Fears and phobias, shyness and social anxiety, panic attacks, depression, grief and loss, distress related to medical diagnosis or treatment, and even phantom limb pain and the psychological components of other pain conditions such as fibromyalgia. Essentially, EMDR has the potential to help with any psychological problem or condition that is caused by disturbing events in a person’s past.

To learn more, we recommend the following book by Francine Shapiro, PhD, a pioneer in EMDR: Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy.

Here is one of my favorite resources on EMDR from The Atlantic  Can Eye Movement Work Like Therapy?  This article highlights an ABC New’s 20/20 video report:  EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing – 20/20 Report

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