A Quick View of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a non-conventional type of psychotherapy crafted to reduce negative thoughts and feelings arising from traumatic experiences. The primary targets of EMDR are not only on the traumatic circumstances themselves but also the unpleasant symptoms and emotions resulting from the traumatic event.
Various studies have shown that EMDR is useful in treating certain psychological health conditions. It was initially designed to treat various symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but it has also found application in the treatment of various consequences of PTSD such as depression and chronic stress.
How does EMDR work?
The main objective of EMDR is to process the traumatic experience and then identify and reduce various negative emotions associated with it. Negative thoughts and feelings ideally are replaced by positive ones as a result of this treatment. EMDR therapy typically takes place in eight stages, which are as follows:
Patient’s history and treatment planning.
Establishment of trust and preparation for the treatment.
Assessment of negative thoughts and finding positive “counter” thoughts.
Desensitization, involving the eye movement technique: patients focus upon one or more aspects of the traumatic event while watching a moving object, such as a point of light, going back and forth at a certain frequency.
Reinforcing positive thoughts.
Ongoing mental and emotional assessment to determine if further reprocessing is necessary or the patient is able to deal with the trauma without experiencing debilitating negative feelings.
Closure techniques occurring at the end of each EDMR session.
Re-Evaluation, occurring at the start of each additional EDMR session.
An EDMR session can take about 60 to 90 minutes. The effectiveness of EDMR is generally acknowledged by therapists although work among researchers continues on this question.