Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
EMDR is a relatively new theory in psychotherapy( approximately 12 years) developed by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D. It is a complex and powerful method of psychotherapy that integrates many of the most successful elements of a wide range of therapeutic approaches, even long term Freudian analysis. EMDR resolves long-standing traumatic memories within a few treatment sessions. During EMDR treatment, the client is asked to hold in mind an image of the trauma, a negative self-cognition, negative emotions, and related physical sensations about the trauma. While doing so, the client is instructed to move his or her eyes quickly and laterally back and forth for about 24 times, following the therapist's fingers. Other forms of left-right alternating stimulation (auditory, tactile) are sometimes used. The client then reports the images, cognitions, emotions, and physical sensations that emerged. This recursive procedure continues until desensitization of troubling material is complete and positive self-cognitions have replaced the previous negative self-cognition. EMDR is comparably effective for a range of traumas and individuals. The treatment is equally effective whether the trauma is related to sexual assault or molestation, physical or mental abuse, relationship trauma, or death of a loved one. It works equally well whether the client has had previous therapy or not and is effective with major trauma and minor trauma as well.