Defining EMDR and how it works

EMDR, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, is “an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for treatment of trauma”. Created by Francine Sharpio in 1989, EMDR has evolved through practice and research all over the world. (For more specific examples, please visit https://www.emdria.org/page/emdr_therapy )

How Does it Work?

When a person experiences intense emotion, their brain cannot process information as it should and the moment becomes “stuck”.  For some people, the memory of that moment is just as terrifying, sad and/or scary as it was when they first experienced it.  

According to research, EMDR is used in a way that directly impacts the way the brain processes information.  Once normal processing is resumed, a person no longer relives the images, sounds, and feelings when the event is brought to mind.  (FACT CHECK: EMDR does not tamper with your memory, but helps make recalling troubling memories less upsetting).

What can it be used to treat?

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Panic attacks
  • Complicated grief
  • Disturbing memories
  • Phobias
  • Pain Disorders
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Stress Reduction
  • Addictions
  • Abuse recovery
  • Personality Disorders
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders

You need a bridge

Imagine you come to a crossroads and you have a split second to pick either the left or the right path.  You pick the left, and it really is the “best” path for you in that moment. However, later on down the road, when it’s too late to turn around, you know that this path isn’t working for you.   You’ve been able to see the “right path” from a distance the entire time, and have now come to realize that it would be a better path for you to be on, but you just don’t know how to get there now.  EMDR builds a bridge across the pathways to get us back on the right track.

If you have more questions about EMDR, or if it could be effective for you, give Amy Wine Counseling Center a call at 832-421-8714!