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Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing)

EMDR stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. It is a powerful way to get the brain to learn much more quickly than usual, which makes possible both rapid realizations about essential truths about a situation or event. This can increase the rate of recovery from the effects of acute psychological trauma and slower but thorough recovery from the effects of chronic psychological trauma. EMDR is now the best researched and validated way of treating PTSD.

How EMDR might work

There are a few theories about how EMDR might work. One theory is that when a trauma occurs the ability to process information is disturbed and a neural pathology occurs. The brain/body freezes the information in its original anxiety provoking form, complete with the original images and negative self-assessment. Researchers think that EMDR is able to “nudge” that material so that the brain is able to neurologically reconnect and integrate the information. It appears that EMDR is able to help the brain finally process “stuck” material, enabling the person to arrive at an adaptive resolution. The painful event or trauma is then perceived as an unfortunate incident, but no longer produces the emotional pain that it did before.

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