Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of therapy originally created by Francine Shapiro, Phd. to treat people with symptoms of PTSD. Now EMDR is used to treat symptoms which have some root or learning in the past. These difficult memories are often the source of our negative self-talk and painful symptoms of anxiety or depression.
Every brain possesses the ability to digest negative experiences and transform traumatic memory into growth experiences. EMDR taps into the brain's natural mechanism for processing all memory.
As we sleep, our brains use Rapid Eye Movement (REM) to integrate useful information into already formed memory networks and forget pieces of memory that are not useful. REM causes the brain to activate and deactivate left and right sides of the brain in an alternating waves. We call this bilateral stimulation.
Disturbing events and general stress can interrupt REM, affecting not only the quality of our sleep, but also our brain's ability to process and heal from distressing life events.
EMDR allows us to access past negative memories and uses bilateral stimulation (tapping, tones, or lights) as patients work through their negative past experiences. Through EMDR, the brain is able to keep useful memories and heal from parts of those memories that are still harming us in the present.
While EMDR is a preferred treatment modality for PTSD, it is now utilized to treat a wide array of experience- related disorders, such as fear of public speaking, generalized anxiety, persistent depression, addiction, and compulsive disorders.
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