Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is one of the exciting new”power therapies” taking the field of psychotherapy into the 21st century. During EMDR, the client concentrates on the feelings, body sensations, negative thoughts, and a visual representation of the problem while following a back and forth motion of the therapist’s fingers, watching a series of moving lights, or hearing alternating tones through a set of headphones. These methods bilaterally stimulate the brain, bringing the resources of the left and right brain equally to focus on solving the problem.
Brief interchanges between client and therapist are woven into the work until the disturbing situation no longer elicits distress. That situation is then reprocessed, this time with positive thoughts, feelings and associations. In effect, the trauma or disturbance is reframed, and although still remembered, does not continue to cause distress or drive addictive or other unhealthy behaviors. In addition, EMDR often results in powerful new insights, information and understanding.
A typical course of therapy lasts three to ten 90-minute sessions. EMDR can stand alone as a treatment modality or be effectively incorporated into many other psychotherapeutic approaches.
Source: Georgianne Parker, ACSW, LCSW, Denver CO.