What is EMDR?
EMDR is an exciting approach for helping people who have histories of trauma, including physical, sexual or emotional trauma and/or unresolved loss. Science has not yet been able to explain why EMDR can work so well for so many people, but its practice by those of us in the field working with real people every day is helping science in its pursuit of explaining its effectiveness by adding to the knowledge base of neurobiology.
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a relatively new therapy developed by Francine Shapiro, a behavioral scientist who combined her knowledge of research on how the brain manages memory with neurobiological speculation on the information processing inherent in rapid eye movement that occurs in REM sleep.
Dr. Shapiro discovered that, by carefully constructing an approach to an individual's troubling memories of his or her traumatic history and then by adding what we call bilateral stimuation to get the brain fully engaged, those memories that had remained "stuck" in the form of their orignial occurrence could reach resolution.
Simply stated, EMDR allows traumatic memories to be processed fully so that they no longer trouble the individual. I like to offer it as a treatment option when and if it is appropriate for a particular individual. EMDR can be used alone or in combination with other therapies. An individual can remain with his or her current therapist and be referred for EMDR as ancillary treatment. With appropriate consultation, one therapy will not disrupt the other.
I have completed training for EMDR through the EMDR Institute and have completed my credentialing for EMDR certification. I am also a member of EMDRIA, the international association for the study and advancement of EMDR.
The following links are useful in answering questions about EMDR. I encourage you to access these articles and any others on the net that can help you decide whether it might be helpful for you.