Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy developed by Francine Shapiro in the 1990's. Individuals being treated with this integragted method are asked to recall distressing images; the therapist directs the client in one type of bilateral sensory input, such as side-to-side eye movements or hand tapping.
Shapiro’s (2001) Adaptive Information Processing model posits that EMDR therapy facilitates the accessing and processing of traumatic memories and other adverse life experience to bring these to an adaptive resolution.
Shapiro (1995, 2001) hypothesizes EMDR therapy facilitates accessing traumatic memory networks, and information processing is enhanced with new associations forged between the traumatic memory and adaptive memories or information.
These new associations are thought to result in complete information processing, new learning, elimination of emotional distress, and development of cognitive insights. EMDR therapy uses a three pronged protocol: (1) past events that have laid the groundwork for dysfunction are processed, forging new associative links with adaptive information; (2) current circumstances that elicit distress are targeted, and internal and external triggers are desensitized; (3) imaginal templates of future events are incorporated, to assist the client in acquiring skills needed for adaptive functioning.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) enables people to heal from symptoms and emotional distress that are a result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show by using EMDR therapy clients experience benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference.
It is widely assumed severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows the mind CAN heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma!