According to the EMDR International Association (n.d.) EMDR is a form of therapy that helps people heal from trauma and other distressing life experiences. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and is evidenced based, meaning it has a large body of research backing up its effectiveness in the treatment of trauma.
Trauma and the Brain
Our brains have a natural and innate way of healing from trauma. While some traumatic or distressing experiences can be resolved through typical brain functioning other times they may not be processed without additional support. When distress from a disturbing event remains, the upsetting images, thoughts, and emotions may create feelings of overwhelm, of being back in that moment, or of being frozen in time (EMDR International Association, n.d.).
Courtesy of EMDR International Association: https://www.emdria.org
Healing with EMDR
EMDR therapy helps the brain reprocess past difficult memories allowing for an individual's innate healing to resume. The experience is still remembered, but the fight, flight, or freeze response from the original event is resolved. Clients of EMDR therapy often report the memory feels more distant and less vivid and the intense emotional response to recalling the memory has subsided.
Who can benefit from EMDR?
EMDR therapy helps people throughout the life span and counselors use EMDR for an number of varying difficulties: · Anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias · Chronic Illness and medical issues · Depression and bipolar disorders · Dissociative disorders · Eating disorders · Grief and loss · Pain · Performance anxiety · Personality disorders · PTSD and other trauma and stress related issues · Sexual assault · Sleep disturbance · Substance abuse and addiction · Violence and abuse