Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Following successful EMDR therapy, you no longer re-live the images, sounds and feelings when the traumatic event is brought to mind.  You will still remember the event, but not in an emotionally disturbing way.

EMDR appears to be similar to what occurs naturally during REM sleep. By facilitating directional movement of the eyes or other form of dual attention stimulation such as audio tones or physical pulsation device (hand pulsars), while addressing the traumatic memory, this therapy helps your brain to digest and store the traumatic material in a new way that is less distressing. 

Clinicians have also reported success using EMDR in treatment of conditions including:

  • Complicated grief
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Disturbing memories
  • Phobias
  • Performance anxiety
  • Stress reduction
  • Sexual and/or physical abuse
  • Personality disorders

EMDR is a researched therapy, proven effective for the treatment of Trauma & PTSD.  This therapy has been given the same effectiveness rating as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in the treatment of chronic and acute PTSD (APA's 2004 Practice Guidelines).

Furthermore, it has been approved by the American Psychiatric Association, recommended by the World Health Organization, and placed in the highest category by The Department of Defense/Department of Veterans Affairs for all trauma populations.  EMDR is similarly recognized in the United Kingdom (Department of Health, 2001), Holland (2003), and Israel (2002).   

Finally, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) designates EMDR as an effective treatment for posttraumatic stress (2000).  

Intro to EMDR

Warning: This video includes a trauma story (that may be triggering to some) with demonstration of EMDR and Recovery.