Posted 1/23/2008 10:57 AM (GMT -6)
My Psychologist has began using this type of therapy on me and I have been getting good results with it. That's why I want to share it with you all. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. How it works.... at the time of a traumatic event, strong emotions interfere with our ability to completely process the experience. Impressions of the trauma get stored in our nervous system through the defense mechanisms we use to cope with the incident. These defense mechanisms, which include dissociation and depersonalization , help to alleviate some of our emotional pain. Unfortunately, they also may block us from learning new ways of seeing the situation, causing us to re-experience the symptoms of the initial trauma when stressful events trigger us in the present. Thus, we can get trapped in recurring anxiety, depression, phobias, panic attacks, and the like. An EMDR therapist helps trauma victims by having them learn to link the memory of trauma with information rooted in the present reality, rather than the past. Similar to many other forms of therapy, an EMDR client will revisit the traumatic incident and examine his or her feelings, thoughts and memories surrounding the event. However, EMDR therapy includes a unique, additional element: a pattern of rapid eye movements, induced by the therapist waving a finger back and forth in front of your face during the session.
Though the exact mechanism is unknown, it appears that using rapid eye movements relieves the anxiety associated with the trauma so that the original event can be examined from a more detached perspective, somewhat like watching a movie of what happened. Some experts have even suggested that the eye movements involved in EMDR might reactivate parts of the brain that were "shut down" as a coping mechanism. In this way cognitive reorganizing takes place, allowing the negative, painful emotions to give way to more resolved, empowered feelings.
Hope this helps someone with Post traumatic Stress Disorder like I suffer with. It's amazing how it works. God bless!