What is EMDR?
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), is an evidenced-based, well-researched psychotherapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). EMDR may also be used as a treatment technique to address a wide variety of issues such as:
- Trauma / Abuse
- Performance Issues
- Eating Disorders
- Attachment Issues
- Panic Attacks
- Addictive Behaviors
EMDR is a wonderful way to process painful and disturbing memories associated with past trauma in a relatively quick and supportive manner. EMDR is an approach to treatment that views dysfunction and health from an Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model. According to AIP theory, our experiences and how we process and store them in memory affects how we perceive, experience, behave and respond to subsequent life events. When we experience an event that is disturbing and causes significantly high levels of arousal, our normal system of processing and storing of information can get derailed, causing the memories of that event to get stored in a maladaptive form of memory.
How Does EMDR Work?
EMDR helps the brain to resume normal information processing which allows the disturbing memories to shift to an adaptive resolution. The mechanism by which this works seems to be similar to what occurs naturally during the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep in which our eyes move rapidly back and forth as a means to process unresolved emotional material.
The EMDR protocol developed by Francine Shapiro Ph.D. consists of 8 phases and involves a three-pronged approach to treatment that addresses 1) past experiences that contribute to the current symptoms, 2) present day triggers for dysfunction and 3) future adaptive behaviors and the positive experiences needed to strengthen and support emotional and mental health.
Goals of EMDR
The goal of EMDR is to reprocess the memories of disturbing life experiences that are causing the current symptoms so that those experiences can be integrated in an adaptive manner, and are no longer intrusive or actively affecting the trauma survivor.
At A New Beginning, we have four skillful clinicians who utilize EMDR to help individuals reclaim their lives from traumatic experiences: