Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, is a type of psychotherapy, whereby the client, while focusing on difficult memories, simultaneously experiences bilateral stimulation. This “side-to-side” stimulation may include directed eye movements or tapping on either side of the body.
Led by a trained EMDR therapist, individuals can experience a reduction in the recurrence of upsetting thoughts and memories, as well as the vividness and negative emotions that typically accompany them.
Unlike talk therapy, which may help patients to think differently about difficult experiences, EMDR focuses on reprocessing memories. The goal is to change the way the memory is stored in the brain, thereby reducing unpleasant feelings and symptoms.
EMDR also seems to work more quickly than other types of therapy, with many people experiencing improvements in 6-12 sessions.
EMDR was first developed to help treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is now used successfully to help individuals with*: