Lauren Morton, LCSW
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITIZATION AND REPROCESSING (EMDR)
What is EMDR Therapy?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy designed to resolve trauma and trauma related symptoms. EMDR is based on the premise that at the time of a traumatic event, intense and overwhelming emotions interfere with one’s ability to process their experience causing the memories of the trauma to be dysfunctionally stored in the brain. These traumatic memories can have an enduring negative effect causing nightmares, emotional distress, intrusive thoughts, physical reactivity, irritability, aggression, hypervigilance, sleeplessness, and difficulties concentrating.
Who can be helped by EMDR?
EMDR is effective for those who have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or who have had traumatic experiences such as:
- Car accidents
- Childhood abuse
- Domestic Violence
- Loss of a loved one
- Military combat
- Natural disasters
- Sexual assault
How can EMDR help?
EMDR Therapy aims to process traumatic memories through a specialized protocol that reduces the intensity and impact of the distressing memories and allows for the successful integration of trauma into the past. The exact mechanism for the effectiveness of EMDR is unknown, although some experts believe that the eye movements in EMDR may be similar to what occurs naturally during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in which the brain reshapes memory by eliminating unhelpful and unnecessary material. Following a successful experience with EMDR, individuals no longer relive the images, sights, sounds, and feelings when recounting their trauma and view their adverse life experiences in a less distressing manner. The trauma is not forgotten, but is significantly less disturbing and impactful.
Through EMDR Therapy individuals can experience rapid relief of their distress and heal from the emotional aftermath of trauma.