EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. This form of therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma and other psychological stress. EMDR differs from talk therapy but can produce powerful results in a short period of time. Significant progress can be achieved in one or several sessions compared with months or years of past treatment. The type of issue being addressed and life circumstances will impact the course of treatment.
When we experience a trauma or a distressing event, our brain processes the information and memory differently than normal and neutral events. This event, as well as the images, sounds, smells, and feelings associated with it all become "stuck." This can cause remembering the trauma to bring back strong emotions and body sensations and may include re-experiencing the event or the emotions when triggered. As a result, our unresolved memories can have a lasting negative effect that interferes how we view the world and relate to others.
EMDR uses Bilateral Stimulation (BLS) to produce several positive results including:
-Relaxation, decreased worry, and decreased physiological arousal
-Increased flexibility (your thoughts become less ‘stuck’ on whatever was bothering you)
-Distancing effect (the problem seems smaller or further away)
In this way, EMDR allows the brain to do the healing. This therapeutic approach seems to have a direct effect on the way the brain processes information. EMDR replicates what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM sleep, allowing for consolidation of memories and adaptive information processing. The adverse life experience won't go away, but after EMDR therapy the negative associations are replaced with healthier and less distressing ways of thinking about this experience.