Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of therapy found to be very effective in treating emotional trauma. Emotional trauma, whether associated with physical trauma, effects the brain in significant ways. When trauma is experienced during infancy and childhood the effect on brain development can be devastating (referred to as Developmental Trauma).
EMDR involves bilateral sensory stimulation, such as side-to-side eye movements, hand tapping, or sounds. Research shows that when performed while the person focuses on the thoughts and feelings that accompany remembering a painful or traumatic event, the result can be a profound reduction in the negative feelings.
EMDR is a structured process that includes these phases:
- History and treatment planning
- Preparation and explanation
- Assessment to identify negative feelings and positive alternatives
- Desensitization using the bilateral technique (eye movement, etc.)
- Strengthening positive replacements
- Body awareness to assess the effects of the treatment
- Closure at the end of each session
- Re-evaluation at the beginning of each session