Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. It is an innovative clinical treatment, which successfully helped people who have experienced psychological difficulties, originating from some kind of traumatic experience – such as sexual abuse, childhood neglect, road traffic accidents and violence. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. EMDR is also successful in treating complaints such as performance anxiety, self-esteem issues, phobias, and other trauma related anxiety disorders. It is characterized by standardized procedures that include a bilateral sensorial stimulation such as repeated eye movements, aimed at processing and working through memories of trauma and other adverse life experiences.
Normally, the individual processes traumatic experiences naturally. However, when a person is severely traumatized, either by an overwhelming event or by being repeatedly subjected to distress, this healing process may become overloaded, leaving the original disturbing experiences unprocessed. These unprocessed memories can be stored in the brain in a “raw” form where they can be continually re-evoked when experiencing events that are similar to the original experience.
At the beginning of the treatment, clients may feel a turbulence of emotions and sometimes acute somatic reactions as they reprocess a painful event. Typically, these effects lasts no longer than three days, after which a new balance occur. Since EMDR allows the mind and body to heal at the same rate, treatment can be rapid, and many clients felt better after just a few sessions.