Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, was developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro, an American psychologist. At the core of EMDR, is a belief that the human brain is adaptable and naturally orients toward healing, but that sometimes an experience can get “stuck” and leave us feeling traumatized over and over again.

After we experience something difficult, we might talk it over with supportive people, think about it, sleep on it and then allow time to pass. After awhile we are able to remember the event with some neutrality – we can remember the sadness, but we are no longer reduced by it. In this way, we experience peace with the event. This is what we might call an event that has been well processed. Sometimes though, a difficult event can get stuck in our memories in an unprocessed and deeply traumatic way. This is where EMDR can be a useful therapeutic intervention.

So how does it work? I will ask you to remember the traumatic event while using bilateral stimulation - asking you to follow my hand from side to side, or asking you to listen to a recording with alternating tones, or asking you to hold a pulsating device in both of your hands. It is thought that this bilateral stimulation can re-activate the information processing system in the brain and by doing so, help the memory to get fully processed. EMDR is stimulating the brain's own healing.

EMDR can be helpful for many issues – anxiety, trauma, phobias, even performance enhancement! To find out more about EMDR, please visit: www.emdria.org