In life we experience both joyful and challenging periods. The former leads to adaptive memories and networks in the brain. However, after experiencing disturbing or traumatic events, upsetting memories can become stuck in our brains in a maladaptive way, potentially leading to physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms. EMDR is an effective, evidence-based treatment developed by Francine Shapiro that aims to resolve trauma and its associated symptoms.
EMDR uses an integrated approach that encompasses the mind, body and emotions. Based on the Adaptive Information Processing theory, EMDR taps into the brain’s natural healing ability. Just as our body works to heal itself after a cut or a wound, the mind has a similar function. However, this natural process can be disrupted by traumatic events, causing a “block” that can lead to intense emotional pain and other symptoms. EMDR can help expedite the body and brain’s natural inclination to heal. While EMDR does not erase disturbing memories, it does reduce emotional distress attached to the memories. EMDR is an 8 phased therapy that utilizes bilateral stimulation to help people move towards more positive and adaptive beliefs about themselves. Finally, it helps free and release the trauma from our bodies.
EMDR is a prolific, empirically-based treatment that is supported by the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the Department of Defense. For more detailed information, please visit www.emdria.org or www.emdr.com.