Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy

What is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy?

EMDR therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a well-studied, successful psychotherapy procedure that has been shown to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life situations, such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, and panic disorders.

What distinguishes EMDR therapy from other therapies?

EMDR treatment does not necessitate detailed discussion of the upsetting problem or the completion of homework in between sessions. EMDR therapy, rather than focusing on modifying the painful issue’s feelings, thoughts, or behaviors, allows the brain to continue its natural healing process.

The goal of EMDR treatment is to resolve unprocessed emotions.

What effect does EMDR therapy have on the brain?

Our brains have a built-in mechanism for recovering from traumatic memories and events. This process involves communication between the amygdala (the alarm signal for stressful events), the hippocampus (which aids in learning and memory, including memories of safety and danger), and the prefrontal cortex (which analyzes and controls behavior and emotion). Despite the fact that while traumatic experiences can often be managed and resolved on their own, they may not be processed without assistance.

Stress responses are part of our natural fight, flight, or freeze instincts. When the distress from a disturbing event persists, the upsetting images, thoughts, and emotions may cause feelings of overwhelm, of being back in that moment, or of being “frozen in time.” EMDR therapy assists the brain in processing these memories, allowing normal healing to resume. 

Who can benefit from EMDR therapy?

EMDR treatment is beneficial to both children and adults of all ages. EMDR treatment is used by therapists to address a wide range of issues, including:

  • Anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias
  • Chronic Illness and medical issues
  • Depression and bipolar disorders
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Bereavement and loss
  • Performance anxiety
  • Personality disorders
  • PTSD, as well as other trauma and stress-related problems
  • Sexual assault
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Clinical addiction
  • Violence and abuse

Can EMDR therapy be done without a trained EMDR therapist?
EMDR therapy is a type of mental health treatment. As a result, it should be provided only by adequately trained and licensed mental health practitioners. EMDRIA does not condone or encourage indiscriminate EMDR treatment applications, such as “do-it-yourself” virtual therapy.