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What is EMDR Therapy?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a psychotherapy developed by Francine Shapiro and helps people with various difficulties that can range from single-incident trauma, to interpersonal trauma or to being reactive or triggered by people, places and things in day-to-day life.  EMDR has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from different treatment approaches.

How does EMDR work?

EMDR therapy is an integrative psychotherapy method that uses a technique called bilateral stimulation (BLS) to alternatingly activate opposite sides of the brain. Therapists originally facilitated BLS with clients moving their eyes back and forth.   These eye movements mimic the period of sleep referred to as rapid eye movement or REM sleep, and this portion of sleep is frequently considered to be the time when the mind processes the recent events in the person’s life. BLS has expanded by other ways such as alternately tapping on  ones knees. 

When experiencing overwhelming events, the usual way our brains store memories is interrupted.  EMDR seems to help the brain reprocess residual memories in such a way that brain's usual information processing is resumed. Therapists often use EMDR to help clients uncover and process beliefs that developed as the result of relational traumas, childhood abuse and/or neglect. 

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