As an EMDR therapist, I have been inspired by the power of EMDR to facilitate the transformation of trauma and distress into resolution and more adaptive coping. After years of work with EMDR I have come to trust the method as one of the most powerful tools in a psychotherapist’s kit.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.
Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal.
EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes.
EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.
(Source: EMDR Institute Inc.)
What kind of problems can EMDR treat?
EMDR is not a new therapy, research began back in 1989. Scientific research has established EMDR as effective for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Use of the technique continues to grow and most insurance companies now consider EMDR a medically necessary treatment for PTSD.
However, clinicians also have reported success using EMDR in treatment of the following conditions: