Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)


EMDR is an empirically validated treatment for trauma developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro in 1987.

"When something traumatic happens, it seems to get locked in the brain with the original picture, sounds, thoughts, feelings, etc. Since the experience is locked there, it continues to be triggered whenever a reminder comes up. It can be the basis for a lot of discomfort and sometimes a lot of negative emotions, such as fear and helplessness, that we can’t seem to control. These are really the emotions connected with the old experience that are being triggered" (Shapiro, 2018).

EMDR aims to target the unprocessed and unhealed memories that cause emotional distress. This disturbing material is "stuck," causing negative cognitions, affect, and physical sensations. Once the memory is processed, the nervous system can start the process of natural healing.

In sessions, the client will reexperience emotions and body sensations associated with traumatic experiences guided by specific eye movements. Clients find themselves shedding the burdensome and unwanted materials that have clung to them, paving the way for a healing journey where past traumas no longer dictate their emotional responses. EMDR not only aids in the dissolution of distress from traumatic memories but fosters a renewed sense of self, equipped to face the future with resilience and strength.

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