Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma, post traumatic stress, anxiety, panic attacks, complicated grief, addiction, and countless other disorders.
EMDR can be thought of as a physiologically-based therapy that helps people experience disturbing memories in a new and less distressing way. Individuals still remember what happened, but through “processing” –a standardized protocol, which uses bilateral stimulation– targeted memories are less upsetting.
While many types of therapy have similar goals, EMDR appears to be similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.
The goal of EMDR therapy is to process completely the experiences that are causing problems, and to include new ones that are needed for full health. “Processing” does not mean talking about it, but rather, to create a learning state that will allow experiences that are causing problems to be “digested” and stored appropriately in the brain.
That means that what is useful from an experience will be learned, and stored with appropriate emotions in the brain, and be able to guide individuals in positive ways in the future.