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EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a method of psychotherapy that uses eye movements (or other rhythmical stimulation such as hand taps or tones) to process traumatic events. We all have an inner processing system to deal with negative events. But when something traumatic happens, the experience can remain “stuck” in our nervous system along with erroneous beliefs about ourselves and the world. People with PTSD relive the trauma again and again.

With EMDR many problems besides trauma, such as depression and phobias which can be traced back to past painful experiences, can be resolved. Often it takes just a few sessions to relieve trauma symptoms. Although the EMDR protocol needs to be followed by every therapist, the philosophical orientation and approach can lead to different outcomes. After the training by Dr. Shapiro, who developed EMDR, we were told that EMDR is not a cookie cutter process and that we should “make it our own”. When I do EMDR, I try to take the client beyond the resolution of symptoms to a deeper healing. Some of my clients have said things like “I see the world differently” and “I feel empowered and free”.

“The treatment made me look deep – very deep – into my own existence. I’m more attentive to my feelings. Now I treasure each and every moment of my life.” – Richard Webster, mine fire victim, quoted in Family Therapy Networker