• What is EMDR?

    EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy

    It was developed by Francine Shapiro in 1980s to address trauma and has now been shown to be effective in the treatment of a wide range of mental health issues. EMDR therapy works by engaging the body’s natural healing process to help change how negatively charged memories are stored in the mind and body. It also changes the negative beliefs poeple have about themselves as a result of these experiences. The EM is for eye movement because when EMDR was first developed eye movements were all that were used. We now know that eye movement, tactile (touching) and sounds can be used to help people desensitize and reprocess past experiences.

    The D is for desensitization. This means that memories that still carry a negative charge and cause disturbance or distress can be neutralized. When a memory has been desensitized, it no longer elicits negative or problematic feelings, sensations and reactions.

    The R is for reprocessing. Reprocessing is when the meaning that is made of the experience has been changed. The negative beliefs one held due to the experienced are replaced with a more adaptive, healthy, and positive belief.

    EMDR therapy is a powerful form of therapy, with the potential to facilitate some amazing healing.

    And because it is powerful, it can also cause harm when wielded by insufficiently trained or knowledgeable people.

    To find therapists who are sufficiently trained I suggest using the Find A Therapist function on the EMDRIA.org website.

    I recommend finding a therapist who is certified.

    I personally am a Certified Consultant and EMDR therapist, I regularly attend trainings and conferences to hone my skills, I continue to seek consultation to ensure I am always improving my craft. You have the right to ask about if your clinician is certified, when/what was the last EMDR therapy training they attended, and if they have been trained in EMDR therapy for the particular issue you want help with.