What is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been well-researched and proven to be enabling for people to heal from the emotional distress that result from disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy, people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference.
EMDR integrates elements from both psychological theories (e.g. attachment, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, somatic) and various forms of psychotherapy (e.g. cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, psychodynamic) into a standardized set of procedures and clinical protocols.
How Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing works
EMDR therapy facilitates the accessing and processing of distressing memories and other adverse life experience to bring these to an adaptive resolution. It assumes that everyone has the inherent tendency to move towards good health.
If you cut your hand, the body naturally works to heal the wound. However, if a foreign object irritates the wound, it festers and causes physical pain. In this instance, natural healing can only resume when the object is removed. EMDR therapy demonstrates psychological healing and physical healing are similar. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward psychological recovery. However, if this system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR works to identify these blocks, remove them and allow your body to resume its path towards wholeness.
EMDR differentiates itself from most other types of talk therapy by focusing on the distressing symptoms/emotions, instead of the disturbing events. This has been shown to be beneficial to many patients, many of which are reluctant to relive their difficult life experiences. Over the years, EMDR has evolved from the usage of eye movements, to various modes of bilateral stimulation, including tapping and sounds.
This accommodates patients who may feel discomfort from repeated eye movements.
Which can EMDR help with?
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Childhood abuse
- Performance and test anxiety
- Physical/Sexual abuse
- Sleep disturbances, such as with recurring nightmares
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