What is EMDR?
EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a powerful method of psychotherapy that has helped an estimated two million people of all ages relieve many types of psychological distress. It is recognized as an effective form of treatment in numerous practice guidelines worldwide. In the US, this includes organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association and Department of Defense. EMDR helps a person change the way they react to current issues by going back to earlier experiences that might have caused them to develop faulty beliefs and patterns that keep them from living a healthy lifestyle.
What does EMDR stand for?
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. EMDR is a comprehensive, integrative psychotherapy approach. It contains elements of many effective psychotherapies in structured protocols that are designed to maximize treatment effects. These include psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, experiential, and body-centered therapies2.
How is EMDR different form other therapies?
EMDR psychotherapy is an information processing therapy and uses an eight phase approach. It attends to the past experiences that have set the groundwork for current issues and situations that trigger dysfunctional emotions, beliefs and sensations, and the positive experience needed to enhance future adaptive behaviors and mental health. This therapy uses alternating bilateral stimulation to help “reprocess” information. Although EMDR was originally started with using eye movements (right to left); the current therapy also uses different forms of bilateral stimulation (right to left), such as, hearing sounds alternating between the right and left ears, or tapping on the right and left sides of the body. During treatment various procedures and protocols are used to address the entire clinical picture. One of the procedural elements is “dual stimulation” using either bilateral eye movements, tones or taps. During the reprocessing phases the client attends momentarily to past memories, present triggers, or anticipated future experiences while simultaneously focusing on a set of external stimulus. During that time, clients generally experience the emergence of insight, changes in memories, or new associations.
What does EMDR treat?
More than twenty randomized studies support the effectiveness of the therapy in the treatment of PTSD. It is also used for depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship issues, and many other issues. This is a versatile therapy that can help a person move past the places he/she feels stuck.
What experience is necessary?
Mary Beth has used EMDR with her clients for over 10 years. She is both certified in EMDR and a EMDR Consultant in Training (CIT). This means she not only uses this therapy with her clients but helps teach it to other clinicians. Although she uses an eclectic mixture of therapies, she has been encouraged by the results she sees with her clients as a result of this therapy.