What is EMDR?
As we can read at APA website:
“Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy (Shapiro, 2001) was initially developed in 1987 for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and is guided by the Adaptive Information Processing model (Shapiro 2007)(…).
The Adaptive Information Processing model considers symptoms of PTSD and other disorders (unless physically or chemically based) to result from past disturbing experiences that continue to cause distress because the memory was not adequately processed. These unprocessed memories are understood to contain the emotions, thoughts, beliefs and physical sensations that occurred at the time of the event. When the memories are triggered these stored disturbing elements are experienced and cause the symptoms of PTSD and/or other disorders.
Unlike other treatments that focus on directly altering the emotions, thoughts and responses resulting from traumatic experiences, EMDR therapy focuses directly on the memory, and is intended to change the way that the memory is stored in the brain, thus reducing and eliminating the problematic symptoms.”
EMDR therapy uses a structured eight-phase approach that includes:
Phase 1: History-taking
Phase 2: Preparing the client
Phase 3: Assessing the target memory
Phases 4-7: Processing the memory to adaptive resolution
Phase 8: Evaluating treatment results
Processing of a specific memory is generally completed within one to three sessions. EMDR therapy differs from other trauma-focused treatments in that it does not include extended exposure to the distressing memory, detailed descriptions of the trauma, challenging of dysfunctional beliefs or homework assignments
What issues can be addressed using EMDR?
- Anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias
- Chronic Illness and medical issues
- Depression and bipolar disorders
- Dissociative disorders
- Eating disorders
- Grief and loss
- Performance anxiety
- Personality disorders
- PTSD and other trauma and stress-related issue
- Sexual assault
- Sleep disturbance
- Substance abuse and addiction
- Violence and abuse
Find out more
Prior to commencing EMDR treatment your psychologist will provide you with more details regarding this method.
In the meantime you can learn more about EMDR at EMDR Association of Australia.