Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy uses eye movements, lights, and neuroscience to treat individuals who experienced trauma or have other mental health concerns. It’s designed to be short-term but can be combined with more traditional forms of talk therapy if deemed necessary.
EMDR allows the brain to process traumatic memories, negative images, or distressing thoughts by unlocking them. Instead of being “frozen” in place, EMDR allows the brain to heal from the distressing event through specific eye movements.
Your therapist will assess whether the approach to counseling is a good fit for you. Individuals who experience trauma, are diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or have anxiety or panic disorders could benefit from EMDR.
Your EMDR therapist will ask you to recall a specific experience, memory, image, thought, or idea that is particularly distressing to you. Using either tapping, eye movements, or particular sounds, your counselor will ask you to focus and notice what comes up in your body during the session. This eye stimulation combined with your focus on your traumatic memory allows the memory to be processed and fade in intensity.
EMDR’s goal is not to forget any traumatic memories, but to no longer be triggered by them.