EMDR is the acronym for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing; an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the rapid treatment of trauma, and post traumatic stress in over 20 controlled studies. EMDR is shown to have a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information. Similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, the guided eye movements can reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts, under certain conditions. Following a successful EMDR session, normal information processing is resumed, so you still remember the event, but it is significantly less upsetting.

One of the unusual features of EMDR is that you don’t necessarily have to discuss disturbing memories in detail (which for some, can be re-traumatising). Some people may be comfortable, or even prefer, giving specifics, other people may want to present more of a general picture or outline.

EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.  When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound.  If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes.  The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health.  If the 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.  Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.
After just three sessions, it was reported that the intensity of certain traumatic childhood memories (and the subsequent negative self-beliefs that formed as a result of the experiences) had dropped from an 8 to a 2 (using a scale to rate the disturbance; with 0 being no disturbance, to 10, being the worst feeling you’ve ever had). It also noted a significant decrease in body tension after each session.

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