EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. This therapy works to alleviate the pain of traumatic memories and disturbing experiences. Often when we experience a painful or traumatic event we are overwhelmed in the moment, and the memory is often not stored correctly in the brain. EMDR is a way to tap into these memories and help assist in processing them correctly so that they no longer cause the same level of distress.
How EMDR Works
First, painful and traumatic memories are identified, as well as negative self- beliefs. These memories and beliefs are targeted using bilateral stimulation which targets both sides of the brain and works to process the painful and traumatic memories that are trapped in the nervous system.
The final step helps individuals to develop positive feelings about themselves. EMDR can assist with the following issues (this list is not exhaustive):
- Anxiety and Panic Attacks
- Sexual/Physical Assault
- Disturbing Memories
- Low Self Esteem
- Relationship Problems
- Emotional/Physical Abuse
I am trained in EMDR therapy and have seen first hand the success clients can have with this therapeutic option. If you would like to read more about EMDR, specifically about the research that supports it’s effectiveness, you can check out my blog post here.