Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing of trauma and distress.
- 55 min55 minutes
EMDR is a psychotherapy technique that combines structured therapy sessions and eye movements or other types of stimuli, such as sounds or taps. During sessions, clinicians use detailed protocols and procedures that are designed to help the brain access and process memories of traumatic and disturbing experiences. While it was originally designed to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD, long-lasting, distressing effects after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event or series of events), EDMR has been applied to help with many other symptoms and conditions that bring people to therapy. These include anxiety and mood and substance use disorders. EMDR is based on the adaptive information processing (AIP) model. This model states that people all have a system they are born with that helps with processing new information, making sense of it, and storing it in their memories. However, when a person has a traumatic or very distressing experience, this process breaks down and the memory and distorted thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations are maladaptively (inappropriately) stored. This inadequate processing of the experience leads to PTSD and other mental symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, and flashbacks. Based on the AIP theory, when memories are adequately processed, the symptoms will resolve. EMDR helps a person process memories and gets their brain to store them in a new way that's associated with new thoughts and emotions. This supports healing by helping the brain to think and feel differently about past events and react differently when triggered by future events. Benefits include: generally takes fewer sessions for results to show, does not include extended exposure to the distressing memory, does not require a person to talk extensively about the details of their traumatic experiences, does not involve homework assignments or challenging a person's thoughts and beliefs.
Portland, OR, USA