E M D R : Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing
"EMDR is a scientifically proven, evidence-based psychotherapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In addition, successful outcomes are well documented in the literature for EMDR treatment of other psychiatric disorders, mental health problems, and somatic symptoms. The model on which EMDR is based, Adaptive Information Processing (AIP), says that much of psychopathology is due to the maladaptive encoding and/or incomplete processing of traumatic or disturbing adverse life experiences. This impairs people's ability to integrate these life experiences in an adaptive manner. The 8-phase, 3-pronged process of EMDR facilitates the normal processing of abnormally processed past material in order to integrate the information into one's brain. This treatment approach targets past experiences, current triggers, and future potential challenges. EMDR will alleviate presenting symptoms, decrease or eliminate distress from disturbing memories, improve self-esteem, relief bodily disturbances, and resolve present triggers and prevent fear of future disturbances related to the targeted trauma." -Lillian Ramey, LCSW, EMDR certified trainer.
There are big 'T' traumas and little 't' traumas that can happen in a person's life. A big 'T' trauma can be when someone experiences a natural disaster, sexual violence, physical violence, witnessing death or major injury, and so on. A little 't' trauma can go unnoticed or can seem like something that happens to everyone such as, being bullied, a mother who tells her child that she is fat, a consistent message from a father that his child is not good enough, a series of events over one's life that leaves them feeling like a failure, and so on. The little 't's can even do more damage than a big 'T'. You may have trauma that you do not even know about or consider to be trauma, but it is affecting your life in serious ways.
Some issues that EMDR can treat:
Witness to violence
Victims of violent crimes
Effects of bullying
EMDR is quite a bit more than a simple technique characterized solely by the use of eye movement. It is an information processing therapy that is comprised of principles, procedures and protocols grounded in psychological theory, psychological science and neurological research on how the brain processes information and generates consciousness.
In the broadest sense, EMDR is intended to alleviate human suffering and assist individuals and human society to fulfill their potential for development while minimizing risks of harm in its application. For the client, the aim of EMDR treatment is to achieve the most profound and comprehensive treatment effects in the shortest period of time, while maintaining client stability within a balanced family and social system. EMDR is founded on the premise that each person has both an innate tendency to move toward health and wholeness, and the inner capacity to achieve it.
The goals of EMDR include the relief of emotional distress, the mobilization of adaptive responses and an increased understanding of the self. EMDR utilizes one or more forms of bilateral stimulation: eye movements, alternating sounds or alternating taps. This bilateral stimulation, in combination with the other specific procedural steps, has been found to enhance information processing, decrease the vividness or intrusiveness of disturbing memories, enhance one’s ability to access adaptive information and create new, positive associations between current information and past experiences.
EMDR is currently practiced by over 40,000 trained and licensed psychotherapists worldwide. I have received Level 1 training from an affiliate of EMDRIA – the EMDR International Association – based in Austin, Texas.