Ok… maybe not EVERYTHING but I hope this will give you a bit of information that will allow you to better understand this technique.

  • What does EMDR stand for? EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing and was developed over 20 years ago by a woman named Dr. Francine Shapiro. Initially, it was found to be most useful in dealing with unresolved trauma. Over time, this technique has shown promise in many other distressing issues (see below).
  •  What does it do? Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing is a technique that utilizes bilateral movement to decrease the intensity of emotion related to traumatic event(s) and to better understand those events.
  • How does it work? Bilateral stimulation paired with disturbing thoughts and emotions about a traumatic event are reprocessed and integrated in the brain in a healthy way. Early research suggested that it works in a way that is similar to Rapid Eye Movement (REM) a physiological phenomenon that occurs when we sleep.
  • Who can benefit from EMDR? This technique has been found to be effective in trauma treatment including events such as accidents, natural disasters, war trauma, and violence/abuse.  It is also effective in treating anxiety and phobias, performance anxiety, complicated grief, and chronic pain.
  • When should I consider EMDR? People who utilize this technique are those who feel stuck or ‘frozen’ in the traumatic event. They feel powerless to manage the intensity of emotions around the event and/or the trigger.
  • How often will I need to do EMDR? This will vary widely depending on a number of factors including the duration and severity of the distressing symptoms. Your therapist will be able to better answer this question.
EMDR with Lisa's Intense Closeup of Eyes

I hope this article gives you a better understanding of EMDR. There are many articles on the pros and cons of this technique, so do your research and/or call me if you have questions relating to this topic or would like to schedule an appointment.

Tune in next week to learn more about what to expect and to hear from someone whose life has changed after therapy and EMDR.

by Lisa Ransford, LPC, CAC II

Need Help?

If you would like to speak to a therapist about this subject or about any other issue you may be experiencing, contact the Maria Droste Access Center at 303-867-4600.

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