EMDR ( Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing ) was developed by Dr Francine Shapiro when she discovered that controlled eye movements helped process Post –traumatic stress Disorder ( PTSD). This is a similar movement to REM sleep ( rapid eye movement ) when your eyes move rapidly from left to right.
When we are overwhelmed the brain is unable to process the information like a normal memory. Following trauma or a distressing event memories can be stored in a dysfunctional / raw unprocessed way. We say these memories are stuck or frozen in the nervous system. Often the memory itself is forgotten, but feelings such as anger, despair, anxiety or panic are continually triggered in the present, when experiencing events similar to the original experience. We can treat everyday memories that are the reason many people have feelings of powerlessness / helplessness or low self-esteem.
During the treatment the client focus on a specific disturbing thought, emotion / sensation and image. The bilateral stimulation of the brains with eye movements, sounds or pulsers held in hands during EMDR, tends to stimulate the blocked information processing system. EMDR helps create the connections between our brain’s memory networks, enabling our brain to process disturbing memory in a natural way.
Memories loses their intensity, emotions are less distressing and the body sensations have disappeared or diminished. The original target event is seen and experienced in a transformed way.
Our mind and body are designed to heal naturally. There has been so much research on EMDR therapy that it is now recognized as an effective form of treatment for trauma and other disturbing experiences by organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization.
EMDR is effective for :
Rape / Sexual abuse
Bereavement / Loss
Anxiety and Panic attacks
Feelings of worthlessness / low self-esteem