EMDR is a psychotherapy approach designed to work with distressing or traumatic memories. Research has shown that EMDR helps to heal any negative belief system that we hold that is impacting our life.
Throughout our lives, we create stories and belief systems about ourselves and about the world around us, based on the experiences we have in life. These belief systems can come from experiences that make us feel worthless, not good enough, not smart enough, or they can come from difficulties that result in distress and beliefs that we are unsafe. Distressing memories do not get stored in our brain correctly and are said to be unprocessed or blocked. EMDR helps to reprocess these memories correctly.
Unprocessed or unresolved experiences can lead to negative emotions, feelings, and behaviors. Through EMDR therapy, we can achieve healthier perspectives, emotions and better understanding of our experiences that then lead to healthier and useful behaviors.
EMDR therapy helps your brain to process completely the experiences that are causing problems, and to include new ones that are needed for full health. 'Processing' does not mean just talking about it. 'Processing' means setting up a learning state that will allow problem-causing experiences experiences that are causing problems to be “digested” and stored appropriately in your brain. This means that what is useful to you from an experience will be learned, and stored with appropriate emotions in your brain, and be able to guide you in positive ways in the future. The inappropriate emotions, beliefs, and body sensations will be discarded.
EMDR is an interactive therapeutic technique that helps alleviate psychological distress.
In a controlled environment, you work through traumatic experiences in brief intervals.
Simultaneously, a therapist directs your eye movements or administers bilateral tapping, diverting your attention to ensure you are not emotionally overwhelmed or overstimulated.
Doing so allows you to work through difficult experiences without a harmful response.
Over time, this technique minimizes the impact that traumatic memories have on your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
EMDR is not just for trauma. It is also used for release of negative beliefs that are impacting our performance in life in any way, including in relationships, at work, and in athletics.
EMDR may be used to treat almost any symptom or disorder. Some of those include:
PTSD and Complex Trauma
Obsessions and Compulsions
Low Self Esteem
Negative belief systems
RESOURCES TO LEARN ABOUT EMDR
What is EMDR? Learn the basics
What is an actual EMDR session like? Learn the 8 phases of treatment
Introductory video about EMDR
EMDR experts explain the benefits of EMDR
EMDR patients share their stories
An EMDR therapist shares her EMDR experience
RESEARCH IN SUPPORT OF EMDR EFFECTIVENESS
Twenty-four randomized controlled trials support the positive effects of EMDR therapy in the treatment of emotional trauma and other adverse life experiences relevant to clinical practice.
Seven of 10 studies reported EMDR therapy to be more rapid and/or more effective than trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy.
Twelve randomized studies of the eye movement component noted rapid decreases in negative emotions and/or vividness of disturbing images, with an additional 8 reporting a variety of other memory effects.
Numerous other evaluations document that EMDR therapy provides relief from a variety of somatic complaints.
Research and frequently asked questions about EMDR