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Eye Movement Desensitization
& Reprocessing

A psychotherapy approach was initially developed to help individuals who have experienced trauma, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

Francine Shapiro created EMDR in the late 1980s, and it has gained recognition as an effective treatment for various types of psychological distress.

Blue hair

"Healing from trauma is not about forgetting. It's about remembering in a different way." - Peter A. Levine

Main Components

​1. Desensitization: During EMDR therapy, individuals are asked to recall distressing memories or traumatic events. While focusing on these memories, they simultaneously engage in bilateral stimulation, which can involve horizontal eye movements, taps, or auditory cues. This bilateral stimulation is believed to mimic the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep phase, during which the brain processes emotions and memories.

2. Reprocessing: The bilateral stimulation aims to facilitate reprocessing traumatic memories. This involves linking the distressing memory with more adaptive and positive beliefs, allowing individuals to see the event in a new light and reduce its emotional charge.

3. Adaptive Resolution: EMDR helps individuals process traumatic memories in a way that makes them less distressing and overwhelming. This processing is believed to lead to adaptive resolution of the traumatic experiences, reducing their negative impact on daily life.

EMDR has been used to treat a range of psychological conditions beyond PTSD, including anxiety disorders, depression, phobias, and various types of trauma. It is considered to be particularly effective for individuals who have experienced single-incident traumas, such as accidents or assaults, as well as complex traumas resulting from repeated abuse or neglect.

The therapy typically involves several phases, including history-taking, preparation, assessment, desensitization, installation of positive beliefs, and closure. EMDR is guided by protocols and procedures administered by trained therapists who follow established guidelines.

It's important to note that while EMDR has shown promising results in many cases, not everyone responds to it similarly. Individuals considering EMDR should contact a mental health professional to determine whether it's an appropriate treatment option for their specific needs.

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