EMDR is an evidence-based and highly effective therapy intervention that assists with healing from traumatic experience.
EMDR focuses on the problematic memories (the past), the situations that are disturbing (the present), and the skills necessary for the future. EMDR is an eight phase process that begins with a collaborative treatment plan established between the EMDR therapist and client.
The phase most associated with EMDR is desensitization, in which the patient will be asked to focus on a specific disturbing event that is dysfunctionally stored cognitively, emotionally, and/or physiologically. At the same time, the patient will also focus on an external stimulus – most commonly therapist-directed lateral eye movements (bilateral stimulation), but a variety of other stimuli including hand-tapping and audio stimulation can be used, as well. In EMDR therapy, it is not typically necessary to talk in detail about the distressing event, and a course of EMDR treatment may be completed in fewer sessions than traditional talk therapy. The goal of EMDR therapy is to process completely the traumatic experiences that are causing problems and recognize and include resources in the present that are needed for full health.