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What Is EMDR?

An article from WebMD states, "Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a fairly new, nontraditional type of psychotherapy. It's growing in popularity, particularly for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD often occurs after experiences such as military combat, physical assault, rape, or car accidents.  Although research continues, EMDR remains controversial among some health care professionals.
 
AT first glance, EMDR appears to approach psychological issues in an unusual way. It does not rely on talk therapy or medications. Instead, EMDR uses a patient's own rapid, rhythmic eye movements. These eye movements dampen the power of emotionally charged memories of past traumatic events.
 
If you suffer from PTSD, what can you expect during an EMDR treatment session -- which can last up to 90 minutes? Your therapist will move his or her fingers back and forth in front of your face and ask you to follow these hand motions with your eyes. At the same time, the EMDR therapist will have you recall a disturbing event. This will include the emotions and body sensations that go along with it.  Gradually, the therapist will guide you to shift your thoughts to more pleasant ones. Some therapists use alternatives to finger movements, such as hand or toe tapping or musical tones.
People who use the technique argue that EMDR can weaken the effect of negative emotions. Before and after each EMDR treatment, your therapist will ask you to rate your level of distress. The hope is that your disturbing memories will become less disabling.  Although most research into EMDR has examined its use in people with PTSD, EMDR is also used to treat many other psychological problems. They include:
 
Panic attacks
Eating disorders
Addictions
Anxiety, such as discomfort with public speaking or dental procedures."
 
I am a Certified EMDR Therapist and Consultant-In-Training.  I utilize EMDR extensively in my practice., with children and adults.

1 Comment to What Is EMDR?:

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