What is EMDR?
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.
EMDR upholds that pathologies, or psychological disturbances, are a result of residual energy from an upsetting earlier experience (trauma) being held in the body. When someone experiences a significant and upsetting life event (trauma), their central nervous systems becomes overwhelmed and this event cannot be processed in the brain. Instead, the energy created from this event becomes trapped inside the body. As a result, the system adapts and various psychological disturbances (e.g. Post-Traumatic Stress, Anxiety, Panic, Grief, Physical Health Concerns, Strong Emotions etc.) are created as a means of trying to cope.
EMDR was founded by Francine Shapiro. Shapiro found when she moved her eyes rapidly, unpleasant thoughts seemed to disappear. EMDR is thought to mimic eye movement in REM sleep to allow the brain to process events. In EMDR therapy, we use bilateral stimulation of the brain to allow unpleasant experiences and memories (trauma) to be processed and released. When they moved from short to long term memory, the events loose their 'charge' and disturbances tend to subside.