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What is eMDR Therapy?

According to EMDRIA.ORG, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and panic disorders.

The American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the U.K. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs/Dept. of Defense, The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and the World Health Organization among many other national and international organizations recognize EMDR therapy as an effective treatment.

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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapy that encompasses multiple phases in working towards healing your brain naturally on its own.

How is EMDR therapy different from other therapies?

EMDR therapy does not require talking in detail about the distressing issue or completing homework between sessions. EMDR therapy, rather than focusing on changing the emotions, thoughts, or behaviors resulting from the distressing issue, allows the brain to resume its natural healing process.

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EMDR therapy is designed to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories in the brain. For many clients, EMDR therapy can be completed in fewer sessions than other psychotherapies.

Laying the Ground Work

With clients it’s important to work on ourselves and learn about what it is that could be impacting our ability to be healthy and happy. What if you found out that what was holding you back in life was only yourself? What if you could physically (with help) heal your brain, and improve your overall health.

EMDR is a therapy that research has studied with PTSD war veterans, and has proven to be quite effective. More and more research with EMDR is still underway, but with all the personal experiences of watching other people’s improvements in therapy it is quite astounding!

The eMDR Process

How Does it Work?

This form of trauma treatment utilizes bilateral stimulation of the brain with eye movements causing a neurological response in the brain. It’s helping the brain to move information from the amygdala (emotional response of the brain *i.e. fight, flight & freeze response) to make the proper connections with the hippocampus (i.e. memory stores in the brain) and the prefrontal cortex (where analytical and logical thinking occurs in the brain). These connections help the brain be able to access information from past memories and logical thinking area of brain to re-consolidate information in the brain after making those connections.

For example, when an individuals’ emotions are high and responding like there’s a threat “the amygdala is running the show”. This is to help people survive when danger is present, thus, pushing hormones throughout the body to react quickly. Brains are setup this way for a fast response to help keep us alive, but sometimes that emotionally-arousing (and possibly traumatic) information stays in the amygdala because it’s perceived as a threat. How do you ask can this cause issues? Well, generally individuals are finding that in certain situations they react emotionally instead of thinking things through with some topics.

According to EMDRIA.ORG, certified EMDR therapists have noted positive changes in less time with EMDR processing and it’s provided even more skills and progress compared to many talk-therapy sessions. Also, they have noted that common methods of talk therapy could re-traumatize an individual, but EMDR helps clients to process trauma more efficiently in less time.

** For more information, please read this article on for further questions and videos on the topic.