Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is a form of psychotherapy developed by Francine Shapiro. This approach uses eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation to assist trauma survivors in processing distressing memories and beliefs. EMDR is one of the most thoroughly researched trauma-focused psychotherapies available. EMDR focuses on helping the brain heal from significant emotional trauma in much the same way that our body heals from physical pain: by using our body’s internal resources.
EMDR is typically an eight phase treatment modality. Bilateral stimulation (typically eye movements across the field of vision) is used typically at least once each session. After being asked to think about a traumatic experience, you will follow the therapists hand movements back and forth with your eyes. One of the appeals of EMDR over many other forms of psychotherapy is that much of its healing is completed internally. This process accelerates emotional and cognitive processing and frequently allows traumatic experiences to be transformed with minimal verbal communication about the events required.