EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a short term therapy used to help people heal from trauma. It's estimated to have helped millions of people in the past 25 years.
EMDR for PTSD- National Center for PTSD with MUSA Productions
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How does it work?
The EMDR International Organization, or EMDRIA, explains it as follows:
"EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment. Eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation) are used during one part of the session. After the clinician has determined which memory to target first, she asks the client to hold different aspects of that event or thought in mind and to use his eyes to track the therapist's hand as it moves back and forth across the client's field of vision. As this happens, for reasons believed by a Harvard researcher to be connected with the biological mechanisms involved in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, internal associations arise and the clients begin to process the memory and disturbing feelings.
In successful EMDR therapy, the meaning of painful events is transformed on an emotional level. For instance, a rape victim shifts from feeling horror and self-disgust, to holding the firm belief that "I survived it and I am strong".
Unlike talk therapy, the insights clients gain from the client's gain in EMDR therapy result not so much from clinician interpretation, but from the client's own accelerated intellectual and emotional processes. The net effect is that client's conclude EMDR therapy feeling empowered by the very experiences that once debased them. Their wounds have not just closed, they have been transformed."
Is any of this backed up by research?
* More than 30 positive controlled outcome studies have been done on EMDR therapy
* Some of the studies show that 84-90% of single-trauma victims no longer have post-traumatic stress disorder after only three 90-minute sessions.
* Another study, funded by the HMO Kaiser Permanente, found that 100% of the single-trauma victims and 77% of multiple trauma victims no longer were diagnosed with PTSD after only six 50-minute sessions.
* In another study, 77% of combat veterans were free of PTSD in 12 sessions.
Source: ( https://www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr/ )
Who else thinks this works?
The American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organization, and the Department of Defense have all endorsed EMDR.