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"I am not what has happened to me.  I am what I choose to become."

- Carl Jung

What is EMDR?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing.  This is a form of therapy that involves some sort of back and forth movement such as your eyes moving back and forth while you think about an issue you are dealing with.  Through the completion of more than 20 research studies, EMDR has been proven to be highly effective.  Initially EMDR was used to treat trauma; however; additional research and experimentation has shown EMDR to be effective in treating several other issues including severe anxiety and depression.  

How does EMDR work?

It is unknown for sure exactly how EMDR works; however, there are some theories about what happens when a person does EMDR.  One theory is that trauma memories are stored in a different part of the brain than other adaptive thoughts.  When a person participates in EMDR, they are asked to think about different aspects of the trauma memory which brings that memory to the front of their mind.  While the person thinks about the memory, they engage in some sort of bilateral movement (example, back and forth eye movement) which helps the person to process the trauma memory and link it to helpful, adaptive thoughts.  This process helps decrease the intensity of the traumatic memories and the emotions associated with those memories.  


verified by Psychology Today