Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy is a form of psychotherapy which has proven to be extremely successful in helping individuals who struggle with traumatic events, post traumatic stress, anxiety, panic attacks, and several other emotional problems.
EMDR works by using bilateral stimulation, right/left eye movement or tactile stimulation that repeatedly activates the opposite sides of the brain. Once the different sides of the brain are activated they can release emotional experiences that are seemingly “stuck” in the nervous system. This helps the system of the brain responsible for the mind/body connection, to free itself of blockages from negative experiences and reconnect itself to images of peaceful experiences.
Generally a therapist will work carefully with a client and ask him or her to revisit a traumatic moment or incident. The goal is to recall any feelings surrounding the experience, as well as any negative memories, thoughts or feelings. The therapist then holds their finger about eighteen inches from the clients face, and begins to move them back and forth. The client is supposed to track the movements of the therapist’s finger as they are moved. The stronger a client focuses on the memory, the easier the memory comes to life. As images arise during the therapy session they are processed by the consistent eye movements, and result in feelings of pain or anguish being exchanged with feelings of resolution, peace, and love.
EMDR has proven to be very successful in treating individuals who suffer from PTSD. Hotel California – Bellevue’s Clinical Team can assess clients to see if EMDR is appropriate for them.