What Is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR is a powerful new therapy modality, and is becoming more widely used by therapists.
As more and more people have experienced its ability to help them change painful emotions and self-limiting beliefs, EMDR therapists and EMDR Clinics are using this therapy for people dealing with everyday challenges.
With this EMDR Psychotherapy modality, people are finding that they don’t need years of therapy.
EMDR, or “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing” was first developed in the late 1980s. It originally was used in PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) to desensitize memories and flashbacks from traumatic war experiences. People who had been in therapy for years with no success in desensitizing their Viet Nam war scenes, found relief with this type of therapy in a short amount of time. It then became widely used in disaster situations such as the Oklahoma City bombing of the Federal building where it was used with the surviving victims and their family members.
Not everyone has had major trauma in their past, but we all have had hurtful experiences growing up, as a part of life. These experiences cause us to develop certain beliefs about ourselves, and what we can accomplish and expect from life. As I use EMDR with clients, I find that many of the limiting beliefs a person has about themselves disappear, because they were based on these hurtful experiences of the past (formed by the child that existed then). Once the pain around these experiences is desensitized, they are free from the limiting cognition, or belief that they formed about themselves as a result of that belief. They now get a more realistic, and adult belief about the self, because the emotional charge which held the original, child view of the self, in place has been removed.
What is the EMDR Technique?
So how did this new modality of psychotherapy come about? A psychologist in Northern California, Francine Shapiro,was walking in the park one day, thinking about something that was troubling her. She noticed at some point, that her eyes started moving spontaneously back and forth, and that this seemed to take the “disturbing quality away from the issue that was troubling her. She developed this further by working with war veterans and the astounding successes she had with them attracted much interest among psychological researchers.
Researchers believe that material which is too painful to be processed consciously is processed by the brain during REM sleep. What is thought to be happening with EMDR is that it is similar to REM (rapid eye movement) sleep processing, and that the eye movements move the material along, causing it to process through the brain/body, leaving the person free of the strong feelings that were originally attached to the trauma, opening a space for new perceptions about the reprocessed issue. It is also thought that the bilateral nature of the stimulation (across the midline of the brain) facilitates right brain-left brain communication.
These are the EMDR Tools used during psychotherapy:
There are about 40,000 licensed psychotherapists throughout the world who are trained in this procedure. Due to a wider public demand for this treatment, therapists are finding and developing more and more uses for this powerful therapy modality. I use it for self esteem enhancement, trauma resolution, anxiety, and depression, amd just about any issue people have, due to its effectiveness. I even use it to desensitize cravings for food and cigarettes.
In working with my clients, I find that it is essential to clear past hurts from the family of origin in order to have intimate, satisfying relationships with the people in their lives now. This process moves people along toward accomplishing their goal faster than anything that I have ever used. I take a developmental approach, clearing traumas from key past events and transition points in the clients life.
Here is an informational EMDR Video:
This is an EMDR video demonstration from the 20/20 TV show