What is EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)is a simple process with rapid results that can bring relief and resolution to issues that are causing turmoil and unhappiness. EMDR is a safe and very well researched method of therapy that treats disturbing memories of varying degrees. Originally designed to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), EMDR is effective in clearing the negative impact of painful, past experiences. EMDR integrates the elements of many other modalities of therapy and consists of structured and specific techniques that work by accessing the brain’s information processing system..
Different parts of the brain work to process different elements of an experience. Some of these are the memory of the event as well as the sensory aspect of the incident. At any given time our brains are processing and integrating in a harmonious way the elements of what is going on around us. When a troubling event occurs, the various cognitive areas of the experience such as the sensory (sight,, sound, smell and touch) are not fully integrated with the memory of the experience. Because of this fragmentation the memory does not move through a normal, cyclical process as do other non-threatening memories, instead it becomes stuck. For this reason intense, negative feelings from the original trauma easily resurface when triggered by situations that are in some way similar to the original event. The sight, sound or smell of a place or event associated with the original disturbance can trigger severe feelings and reactions just as the memory of it can, thus inhibiting a person’s ability to cope and feel secure and in control.
An Example of how the brain stores trauma differently: If a person who eats different things on any day of the weekwas asked to report what he had for lunch on Tuesday, two weeks prior, he would most likely not be able to remember. If however, the same person was eating a tuna fish sandwich, alone at home on that Tuesday and while doing so was robbed at gun-point, it is highly likely that the person will remember exactly what he/she ate that day. The reason being that the traumatic memory has been stored differently than the memories of what he ate for lunch on any other day of that week when nothing frightening occurred.
How does EMDR Work: During EMDR the client is asked to recall the most disturbing part of a recent or distant memory associated with the problem that he or she chooses to work on., a negative belief as well as a new positive one. The therapist then asks the person to become aware of any body sensation and then to focus their eyes, moving them back and forth, following the therapist’s hand movements. Some practitioners use pulsars or head phones which have the same effect as moving the eye movements. Several sets of movements are used for short periods and then the images, feelings and sensations are processed in between sets with the direction of the therapist. Positive beliefs are also integrated in the process and are instilled while doing the eye movements.
Who can practice EMDR: Only a licensed psychotherapist or a graduate student under the supervision of a licensed clinical who has the required training to practice EMDR should conduct the sessions. A great deal of clinical knowledge as well as training by the EMDR Institute is required before a clinician can practice EMDR. A clinician should have a minimum of a masters degree and is required to be licensed with the state to practice psychotherapy privately. Training and experience with complicated forms of trauma and various disorder by a skilled psychotherapist in the use of EMDR is important.
For More Information: http://brainworldmagazine.com/how-emdr-therapy-opens-a-window-to-the-brain/