Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy developed by Francine Shapiro to resolve symptoms resulting from disturbing, traumatic, unresolved life experiences. It is a structured approach requiring one to be attentive and alert as we target present day symptoms and uncover the roots of today's symptoms residing in a past, traumatic event.


Trauma is expressed through varying symptoms which can include unexplained anxiety, panic disorders, phobias, chronic depression, to low self esteem.

EMDR is the treatment of choice for healing the psychological effects from traumatic events such as auto accidents, witnessing crimes, rape, and physical and/ or psychological abuse. Research supports EMDR as more effective than traditional psychotherapies.

The theory underlying EMDR treatment is simple, processing distressing memories, which underlies and supports psychological and physical symptoms, eradicates the need for the presenting symptom(s).


EMDR's most unique aspect is an unusual component, using bilateral stimulation of the brain. By listening to sound moving from one ear to the next, bilateral sound; or watching a light or pointer moving across your visual horizon, or through bilateral tactile stimulation- tapping one hand then the other hand, one moves through memories or felt sensations until symptoms dissipate. Bilateral stimulation calms the brain allowing a high level of hemispheric coherence, enhances the retrieval of episodic memories facilitating healing, and increases cognitive flexibility such as learning of new skills.


 EMDR requires the patient to be totally alert and attentive as the patient vacillates between the traumatic material and the safety of the present moment.

EMDR is an integrative therapy approach, synthesizing elements of many traditional psychological orientations such as psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, experiential, physiological, and interpersonal therapies.


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