Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing
An evidence-based psychotherapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In addition, successful outcomes are well documented in the literature for EMDR treatment of other psychiatric disorders, mental health problems, and somatic symptoms. The model on which EMDR is based, Adaptive Information Processing (AIP), posits that much of psychopathology is due to the maladaptive encoding of and/or incomplete processing of traumatic or disturbing adverse life experiences. This impairs the client’s ability to integrate these experiences in an adaptive manner. The eight-phase, three-pronged process of EMDR facilitates the resumption of normal information processing and integration. This treatment approach, which targets past experience, current triggers, and future potential challenges, results in the alleviation of presenting symptoms, a decrease or elimination of distress from the disturbing memory, improved view of the self, relief from bodily disturbance, and resolution of present and future anticipated triggers.” (pp.17, EMDRIA Newsletter, September 2011)
EMDR is a treatment approach that has been extensively researched and validated for treatment with PTSD only. EMDR is also being used to treat many other psychological and emotional conditions successfully, and the research is still in progress.
When a disturbing event occurs that overwhelms one’s mind-body, it gets locked in the nervous system frozen in time and space, with the original pictures, feelings, thoughts, sounds, smells. These locked memories can get triggered whenever one is reminded of that past. Most times they stay unconscious yet causing a lot of upset, affecting how one may think, feel, or act.
EMDR unlocks these memories, and jumpstart one’s brains ability to process, digest, and assimilate these disturbing experiences like it does normally with most experiences.