What is EMDR?
EMDR is a highly effective therapy that resolves traumatic and disturbing life experiences. Clients are guided through eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation, such as tapping) while holding different aspects of the negative event in their mind. As this happens, the event is "processed" by the brain, or gets "un-stuck." EMDR is unlike talk therapy, where you have to discuss in detail about the trauma. Instead, during EMDR clients talk about their experience in snippets, while the "processing" happens organically in their brain. Clients still remember the event(s), but there is a shift in emotions and thoughts regarding the event(s), For example, a survivor of childhood abuse may go from feeling detached, shameful, and thinking "I'm not good enough," to holding a firm belief that, "I am worthy of love." While the memories are undoubtedly remembered as awful things that happened in their life, they're released from the immense pain attached to it. In other words they remember it was awful, but do not feel the pain of the memories in present time.
Each client's symptoms and reasons for entering therapy are unique, as is their outcome from treatment. However, some examples of how EMDR has transformed previous client's lives include: no longer being preoccupied with the trauma, feeling happier, living in the moment, having higher self-esteem, a release from guilt, decreased unexplained tension/headaches, decreased anxiety, feeling empowered and no longer in fear.
How Does EMDR Work?
The video below was created by the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA).
I believe it gives the most concise and well-rounded understanding of EMDR and how it helps resolve trauma disturbances.
What's the Evidence of EMDR?
EMDR therapy is supported from years of research and is recognized as an effective form of treatment for trauma and other negative life experiences by organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organization, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and the Department of Defense.
Who Can Benefit from EMDR?
EMDR can be used to address a wide range of concerns including:
Anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias
Childhood neglect, abuse or other trauma
Chronic Illness and medical issues
Depression and bipolar disorders
Grief and loss
PTSD and other trauma and stress-related issues
*Note that Jamie focuses on and is experienced in working with PTSD, childhood trauma, adults trauma/recent events, sexual trauma and those with mild-moderate dissociative symptoms