EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. This modality was developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro, and has been extensively research. EMDR is recognized as an evidence-based treatment modality for PTSD and other trauma disorders by a growing number of national and international organizations. Through research, it has been discovered that EMDR has the capacity to support healing with many other areas of stress or challenge, such as: anxiety, abuse, neglect, grief and loss.
EMDR is based off the understanding of the Adaptive Information Processing Model (AIP). This model highlights that our bodies and minds are wired for “adaptive information processing”. However, when our bodies and minds experience trauma, and we are launched into survival responses, adaptive processing can get blocked. We can refer to this as a “stuck”. This means our bodies and minds store these traumatic experiences, in their original state, as physical sensations, thoughts, and/or feelings. These experiences can become continually activated, causing distress, disruption, and impairment to our day-to-day lives. This can present as: upsetting feelings and/or thoughts, physical sensations, nightmares, anxiety, depression, or other emotional problems. EMDR facilitates the adaptive processing of the distressing “stuck” information in the brain to support healing and resolution.
Through treatment planning, a trained therapist will help you to understand if and how EMDR can be supportive to your therapeutic journey.