This treatment approach, which targets past experience, current triggers, and future potential challenges, results in the alleviation of presenting symptoms, a decrease or elimination of distress from the disturbing memory, enhanced view of the self, relief from bodily disturbance, and resolution of present and future anticipated triggers.
In EMDR Therapy, specific steps are used to access and reprocess information which incorporates alternating bilateral visual, auditory, or tactile stimulation. These treatment procedures and protocols facilitate information reprocessing. EMDR utilizes an 8-phase, 3-pronged, approach to treatment that optimizes sufficient client stabilization before, during, and after the reprocessing of distressing and traumatic memories and associated stimuli. The intent of the EMDR approach to psychotherapy is to facilitate the client’s innate ability to heal.
This therapy is based on the belief that traumatic events aren’t properly processed in the brain when they happen. This is why they continue to affect us — with nightmares, flashbacks, and feelings of the trauma happening again — long after the actual trauma is over.
When something reminds you of the trauma, your brain and body react as though it’s happening again. The brain isn’t able to tell the difference between the past and the present.
This is where EMDR comes in. The idea, known as the adaptive information processing model, is that you can “reprocess” a disturbing memory to help you move past it.
This therapy aims to change the way that the traumatic memories are stored in your brain. Once your brain properly processes the memory, you should be able to remember the traumatic events without experiencing the intense, emotional reactions that characterize post-traumatic stress.
Much of the research involving EMDR therapy is on its use in working with trauma and PTSD. However, it's been found beneficial in helping the following conditions: