What is EMDR?
EMDR is an effective and rapid method for healing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing or EMDR was developed in the late 1980’s to help people suffering from trauma and related symptoms. EMDR therapy uses bilateral stimulation, right/left eye movement, or tactile stimulation, which repeatedly activates the opposite sides of the brain, releasing emotional experiences that are “trapped” in the nervous system. This assists the neurophysiological system, the basis of the mind/body connection, to free itself of blockages and reconnect itself.
As troubling images and feelings are processed by the brain via the eye-movement patterns of EMDR, resolution of the issues and a more peaceful state are achieved.
How It Works
The therapist works gently with the client and asks him/her to revisit the traumatic moment or incident, recalling feelings surrounding the experience, as well as any negative thoughts, feelings and memories. The therapist then holds her fingers about eighteen inches from the clients face and begins to move them back and forth like a windshield wiper. The client tracks the movements as if watching ping pong. The more intensely the client focuses on the memory, the easier it becomes for the memory to come to life. As quick and vibrant images arise during the therapy session, they are processed by the eye movements, resulting in painful feelings being exchanged for more peaceful, loving and resolved feelings.
I studied and practiced EMDR for 12 years with many people and achieved good results. While I have incorporated parts of EMDR into my work, I now work with Brainspotting rather than EMDR.
The primary difference between the two is that EMDR utilizes rapid eye movement across the whole field of vision while Brainspotting holds a fixed eye position as emotional material is being processed. It is my observation and that of my clients that Brainspotting processes memories and emotions more deeply and completely.