What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a comprehensive approach to therapy that integrates elements of psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, experiential, and body-centered therapies to maximize treatment effects. EMDR psychotherapy uses a structured protocol for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and related past experiences that trigger emotions, beliefs, sensations, that are no longer serving the health of the client.

Preparing for you EMDR Session

Preparation for EMDR includes history taking, an assessment of the client’s readiness for EMDR, and development of a treatment plan. Client and therapist identify possible targets for EMDR processing. These include recent distressing events, current situations that elicit emotional disturbance, related historical incidents, and the development of specific skills and behaviors that will be needed by the client in future situations.

Overcoming Negative Beliefs About Self

Once a target is identified the client identifying the most vivid visual image related to the memory (if available), a negative belief about self, related emotions and body sensations. The client also identifies a preferred positive belief.

EMDR therapy involves the use of bilateral stimulation through:

  • Eye movements
  • Buzzers
  • Tones
  • Taps

During this time the client attends to past memories, present triggers, or anticipated future experiences. Clients generally experience the emergence of insight or new associations.

After EMDR Processing

After EMDR processing, clients generally report that the emotional distress related to the memory has been eliminated, or greatly decreased, and that they have gained important cognitive insights. Importantly, these emotional and cognitive changes usually result in behavioral and personal change that is reinforced through structured treatment.

If you have questions about EMDR or are interested in setting up an appointment, please call Arielle at (303) 819-0623 or email me at arielle-schwartz@comcast.net

For information see the EMDR International Association website at:  http://www.emdria.org