EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), is a therapy method that has become an effective treatment option helping people to heal from distressful life experiences. EMDR was originally aimed at helping people who suffer from PTSD, but it has been shown effective to also help with other symptoms listed below.
The brain is a beautiful and complex information processing system. As we take in information throughout our life, our brain stores the information in a way that we can use it to help us understand ourselves and the world we live in. However, when there is stress associated with incoming information, our brain isn’t able to process the information properly and so the experience and associated emotions get stuck without being fully processed. When this happens, we are unable to use the stored information in a useful way and it can create uncomfortable symptoms and behaviors (depression, anxiety, fear, anger outbursts, etc.).
EMDR aims to target the stuck or unprocessed memories, make appropriate connections and then help to shift them to the area of the brain where they won’t have so much emotional charge. Utilizing a technique known as bilateral stimulation helps to to shift the unprocessed memory. The memory can then be integrated into the person’s life experience in a positive way. When memories are reprocessed, clients report noticing that they feel less triggered or activated by situations that used to trigger them, that they feel calmer, that they have a stronger and more positive sense of self.