Eye Movement and Desensitization Reprocessing - EMDR:
You may be affected still by deeply upsetting experiences (trauma) that happened a long time ago without realizing it. You may wonder why sometimes you react so strongly to certain things that happen. The good news is that you can heal.
Commonly referred to as EMDR, this treatment reorganizes troublesome memories that can lead to negative beliefs about ourselves and interfere with daily functioning. When we experience an overwhelming, painful, or fearful event, that experience can become "frozen" in our bodies and minds. This is the brain's way of coping with really difficult memories which creates patterns of avoidance or overreaction. Once negative thoughts about yourself are identified in therapy, a past or present target is chosen to be the focus of the EMDR session and your therapist facilitates stimulation of both sides of your brain using eye movements, tapping, or auditory sounds. This stimulation gives your brain enough distance to process painful material. Memories are stored in a more adaptive part of the brain which allows for finding new meaning and positive beliefs about yourself.
Studies have shown EMDR to be a more efficient form of treatment for PTSD than talk therapies or CBT. Research has also shown it to be effective with anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, substance abuse, and complicated grief. It's also now being used to address gender dysphoria or trauma related to gender transition related experiences. EMDR is a powerful tool for recovery.