What is EMDR?

EMDR is an acronym for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. This is a type of therapy which focuses on the individual’s current difficulties that may be heavily influenced by past memories and emotions. For instance, if you constantly feel unworthy but you are not sure why you are probably being overwhelmed by past situations or emotions. Many times people’s past can overshadow or influence their current life to the point they feel paralyzed, in danger or they find it difficult to function. Our brains construct neural pathways that contain memory sequences of similar experiences on them. EMDR accesses these neural pathways through rapid eye movement which then allows the brain to reprocess the events on the pathway and helps the person to adapt to newer updated information regarding these memories. Once that is accomplished the updated neural pathway can become free from emotional baggage that was attached to older, original memories.

EMDR is similar to REM (rapid eye movement) which is a much needed type of sleep pattern where the brain processes things that are troubling to a person. EMDR replicates this sleep pattern by alternating between sets of eye movements and brief reports about what the person is noticing. This alternating process helps you update your memories to a healthier present perspective (EMDR consulting, LLC).

EMDR works well for anxiety, depression and trauma and does not require the client to re-hash all the details regarding the trauma or overwhelming experiences being targeted. A person may get emotional while doing EMDR but the therapist will prepare and help the person to manage these emotions safely. In fact, once the emotions have surfaced the person will usually feel a sense of resolution and relief and, the good news is that the emotions rarely come back. EMDR is a great therapeutic tool and works well in conjunction with neurofeedback to help resolve trauma. The length of time it takes with EMDR is dependent upon the complexity of a person’s problems.