Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
EMDR is a simple yet powerful therapy technique that has been proven to help with trauma, grief, phobias, pain, addictions, panic attacks, performance anxiety, self-esteem issues and other related conditions. It was originally developed by Francine Shapiro who found that negative thoughts she was having could be simply dispelled by making rapid eye movements from side to side. Over a number of years, she developed this basic idea into a standard clinical protocol that can be used to treat many common distressing conditions.
The desensitization part of EMDR describes how negative thoughts and their associated emotions can be effectively reduced in their intensity as a result of an EMDR treatment. The reprocessing part of EMDR refers to how the brain's natural ability to process traumatic incidents can become reduced during particularly intense experiences. The bilateral eye movements of EMDR help to re-establish the brain's natural ability to process old trauma that may have been present for many years. Once this reprocessing has occurred the images (such as flashbacks) and emotional states associated with the original traumatic incident are greatly reduced.
For more information on EMDR, how it works, and the various conditions it can treat, we refer you to the articles section of the site.
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