Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing
Have you heard about EMDR (eye movement therapy) and how it has helped people with trauma, stress, anxiety and PTSD?
EMDR is used by the US Military to help combat veterans find answers. it is used by doctors and psychologists around the world to help victims of trauma heal and move forward after difficult life experiences. You can find balance, and eye movement therapy, knows as EMDR can help. Dr. Asif Khan completed training at the EMDR International Association and is a qualified psychological practitioner.
How was EMDR discovered?
Dr. Francine Shapiro in 1987 accidentally discovered the mechanism behind EMDR. She observed that eye movements under certain conditions could reduce the intensity of distressing thoughts. Dr. Shapiro began studying this process scientifically and found it very successful in the treatment of trauma victims. Several additional research studies have been done to confirm these findings.
How does EMDR work?
We do not yet know enough about brain functioning to figure out exactly how EMDR works. What we do know, however, is that our memory often “freezes” traumatic events to protect the system. When the memory of trauma is triggered, it may feel as if the trauma is being re-experienced all over again.
It seems that trauma is stored in the right hemisphere of the brain; which is the holistic and feeling side. Traditional talk therapy primarily uses left hemisphere brain functions, which uses logical functioning. Thus traditional therapy can take a very long time to process and resolve the traumatic experience. EMDR attempts to activate both sides of the brain (called bilateral stimulation). This is similar to what happens in the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep. EMDR uses a variety of methods such as eye movements, hand tapping or sound coming through headphones. When the brain is stimulated bilaterally, you use the logic of the left-brain and the expression of the raw feeling of the right brain; both parts of the brain can work together to reintegrate the traumatic experience in a less disturbing way.
What are other uses of EMDR?
EMDR is also being used to treat panic attacks, dissociative disorders, complicated grief, disturbing memories, flashbacks, anxiety disorders, phobias, performance anxiety, stress reduction, addictions, and trauma associated with sexual and/or physical abuse.
EMDR may be used in the context of regular “talk” therapy, as an additional therapy provided by someone other than the primary therapist, or as a treatment all by itself.