Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)

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EMDR was designed first for post-traumatic stress, this method uses a combination of cognitive and behavioural techniques. The main goal of EMDR is to help individuals process and heal from traumatic experiences or distressing memories that have become stuck or unresolved. These unresolved experiences can continue to cause emotional distress, negative beliefs, and behavioural patterns in the present.

EMDR requires that the client visualize an upsetting memory and accompanying physical sensations. The client repeats negative self-statements that he or she associates with the scene. The patient follows the therapist’s finger as it moves rapidly back and forth. After completing the eye movements, the client stops thinking about the scene. The procedure is repeated again and again until the client’s anxiety is reduced.

EMDR follows a structured, eight-phase treatment protocol, which typically involves the following steps:

  • History Taking
  • Preparation
  • Assessment
  • Desensitization
  • Reprocessing
  • Installation
  • Body scan
  • Closure

EMDR has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of PTSD and other trauma-related conditions. It is also used

– to address anxiety
– to address phobias
– to address depression, and other psychological disorders