What is it?
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is an integrative, evidence-based therapy approach for the treatment of trauma. It is also now used to treat anxiety, depression, phobias, performance anxiety, chronic pain, and other issues that keep us blocked. The Parnell Institute where I completed basic training is known for its innovations in Attachment-Focused EMDR.
Who discovered it?
EMDR was discovered by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D. in the late 80s. She discovered that bi-lateral eye movements reduced the charge of certain disturbing memories. She began researching the efficacy of EMDR in the treatment PTSD. Since that time, practitioners around the world have expanded on Dr. Shapiro’s work.
How does it work?
When we experience something traumatic or disturbing, these memories are stored in the nervous system in a fragmented way with all the sights, sounds, smells, and other sensory information that go along with the experience. EMDR is an accelerated way of reprocessing this information so it can be properly stored in the memory, as opposed to “stuck” in the body. Because EMDR utilizes the mind-body connection, it works very fast, especially compared to talk therapy. Another advantage is that if there are particularly shameful memories, the client does not need to share the details of the memories for processing to take place.
When can I start?
EMDR is an eight-phase process. Processing does not begin during the first session. A detailed developmental history is the first step. Processing begins when the client has been thoroughly assessed and prepared. This period of time depends on a number of factors and varies from person to person.
Where can I learn more?
EMDR International Association: https://emdria.site-ym.com
Parnell Institute: http://parnellemdr.com