EMDR stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing which is a relatively new kind of psychotherapy. EMDR is often used to treat patients who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disease or PTSD. PTSD happens when a person goes through harrowing experiences which may include physical assault, military combat, car accidents or rape, among others.
EMDR is gaining popularity in recent years, but it is still not widely accepted in the medical profession since there are some controversial issues being raised about it.
EMDR is unique from other treatments for post trauma since it rarely makes us of drugs or talk therapies. Practitioners instead use the eye movement of patients since the movement of the eyes reduces the power brought by the unpleasant experiences or trauma of the past.
How does EMDR work?
A patient who undergoes EMDR session or therapy which in most cases last up to 90 minutes will be asked by the therapist to follow the hand motions done by the therapists. The patient will also need to retrieve the traumatic event while doing the rapid eye movements.
The therapist will slowly lead the patient to think of happy thoughts. Some therapists for EMDR may choose to use other options to finger movements like musical tones, toe or hand tapping, among others.
Those who believe and practice EMDR believe that the said therapy can make the negative emotions go weak. These therapists have the goal of making the painful memories less disabling. Patients who are about to undergo this therapy will first be asked to rate or evaluate how distressed they are.
EMDR is most often used for treating patients who are suffering from PTSD. But it can also be used for treatment of other disorders such as addictions, eating disorders, panic attacks, and even anxiety.