Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy approach, well researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. To learn about the development and history of EMDR see www.emdr.com and www.emdria.org.
We do not yet know how psychotherapy works neurobiologically, in the brain. We do know that when a person is very upset, their brain cannot process information as it usually does. One moment becomes “frozen in time,” and remembering a trauma may feel as distinct as going through it the first time because the images, sounds, smells, and feelings haven’t changed. Such memories have a lasting negative effect that may interfere with a person’s perspective and the way they relate to others.
EMDR seems to have a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information. Following successful EMDR therapy normal information processing is resumed. A person no longer relives the images, sounds, and feelings when the event is brought to mind. You still remember what happened, but it is less disturbing. EMDR appears to be similar to what occurs naturally diring dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Therefore, EMDR can be thought of as a physiologically based therapy that helps a person view disturbing material in a new and less distressing way. Scientific research has established EMDR as effective for post-traumatic stress. Clinicians have also reported success using EMDR for the following conditions:
- Panic attacks, phobias
- Grief, disturbing memories
- Pain disorders
- Eating disorders, body image problems
- Performance anxiety, stress reduction
- Sexual and/or physical abuse
- Stress and anxiety issues often respond well to EMDR;
- Difficulty trusting others
- Being attracted to people who just aren’t good for you
- Feeling guilty without knowing why
- A history of being physically or emotionally abused as a child
- Self-blame, self-consciousness, shame or guilt
- Chronic or excessive anger, sadness
- Worry, anxiety, obsessive thinking
- Unpleasant feeling, mood swings
- Negativity, pessimism, irritability
An amazing benefit of EMDR, in addition to reducing distress is Peak Performance treatment. Please see my Peak Performance article. This treatment specialty can relieve those with performance anxiety and free them to move toward their potential. EMDR offers great hope!
Call now to see how EMDR can help you.