What is EMDR?
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an evidence-based psychotherapy, which targets past experience, current triggers, and future potential challenges. The goals of treatment are 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 triggers.
How does EMDR help with trauma?
Trauma disrupts the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) system, which results in unprocessed memory being held in memory networks that link to present and past experiences. EMDR targets the brains information processing system by identifying memory networks that formed during a trauma. Dual (two-sided) Attention
Stimulation (DAS) is used to interrupt the trauma “network” so that reprocessing
These memory networks are activated and Dual Attention Stimulation is added. This process results in rapid free association between networks and insight and understanding occurs, often rapidly, until the client gains a greater sense of equilibrium and integration. When reprocessing is successful, the previously disturbing memories are neutralized and affectively integrated with other similar experiences.
EMDR is a neurological based treatment that has been well researched since it’s beginning in 1987, and is recognized as an effective treatment by most health insurances companies. Numerous controlled studies have confirmed the effectiveness of EMDR in treating trauma.
According to the EMDR Institute, Inc., “More than thirty positive controlled outcome studies have been conducted on EMDR therapy. Some of the studies show that 84%- 90% of single-trauma victims no longer have post-traumatic stress disorder after only three 90 minute sessions. Another study, funded by the HMO Kaiser Permanente, found that 100% of the single-trauma victims and 77% of multiple trauma victims no longer were diagnosed with PTSD after only six 50-minute sessions. In another study, 77% of combat veterans were free of PTSD in 12 sessions. There has been so much research on EMDR therapy that it is now recognized as an effective form of treatment for trauma and other disturbing experiences by organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organization and the Department of Defense.”