Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a method of psychotherapy that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. To date, EMDR has helped an estimated two million people of all ages relieve many types of psychological stress.
How Does EMDR Work?
No one knows how any form of psychotherapy works neurobiologically or in the brain. However, we do know that when a person is very upset, their brain cannot process information as it does ordinarily. One moment becomes “frozen in time,” and remembering a trauma may feel as bad as going through it the first time because the images, sounds, smells, and feelings haven’t changed.
Such memories have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person sees the world and the way they relate to other people. EMDR seems to have a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information. Normal information processing is resumed, so following a successful EMDR session; a person no longer relives the images, sounds, and feelings when the event is brought to mind. You still remember what happened, but it is less upsetting. Many types of therapy have similar goals.
However, EMDR appears to be similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Therefore, EMDR can be thought of as a physiologically based therapy that helps a person see disturbing material in a new and less distressing way.
What Kind Of Problems Can EMDR Treat?
Scientific research has established EMDR as effective for post-traumatic stress. However, clinicians also have reported success using EMDR in the treatment of the following conditions:
- panic attacks
- complicated grief
- dissociative disorders
- disturbing memories
- pain disorders
- eating disorders
- performance anxiety
- stress reduction
- sexual and/or physical abuse
- body dysmorphic disorders
- personality disorders
What EMDR Clients Are Saying
This is just a note to let you know about how EMDR has changed my little girl. We started therapy in November 2005, and we have had 8 sessions so far. She is 6 years old and has had severe symptoms of PTSD from being abused. Although regular therapy had been a little successful, her progress was slow and arduous. Now, through EMDR my daughter seems happier, and her “fits” (aggressive rages) have been significantly reduced. Even though we are still in EMDR therapy, I could not wait to tell you how much we think this therapy has helped our precious daughter. Nothing we have tried was this successful.
A few years ago I underwent EMDR. I was skeptical, of course. At this point in time, however, I see that it saved my marriage, my sanity, and my relationship with my children. I was suffering from PTSD after experiencing much loss and never even realized that’s what stood in the way of a healthy life. It’s a wonderful treatment and more people should be informed about it.
I was a member of the Canadian Army for over 20 years. I suffered from OSI (operational stress injury), depression, and the loss of my daughter and wife killed by a drunk driver. For over a year of treatment and work on my part I have finally found some peace of mind, my anger and depression had lowered to a manageable level. Today, I see the light at the end of the tunnel…. I know that this treatment EMDR is by far the best I ever received in the mental health field, and the great thing is no meds.
Thank you, G.C
Christian Counseling and EMDR
As a client-centered therapy, EMDR is concerned with the clients’ cognitive, emotional, physical and social contexts. Here at Christian Counseling Services, we are concerned with the spiritual well-being of our clients as well. EMDR is not hypnosis. It is another technique to be used in the counselor’s tool box. EMDR is never to be used in place of scripture, prayer and/or the tenants of faith.
Christian Counseling Services
Christian Counseling Services (CCS) help people resolve emotional, behavioral and personal problems in an atmosphere of understanding, respect and confidentiality.