What does EMDR mean?
The abbreviation EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. This form of therapy emerged at the end of the 1980s and has been recognized over the past decades by numerous scientific institutions as a form of psychological therapy variant. EMDR is an evidence-based treatment modality that has been used successfully, particularly in the treatment of trauma sequelae, anxiety, and depression. The therapy form involves bilateral and visual stimulation as well as simultaneous internal remembering on the part of the patient of traumatizing experiences. Accompaniment by EMDR-trained therapists helps the patient process trauma.
Getting the neural processing up to speed
The combination of bilateral stimulation and active remembering of the traumatic or negative experiences is what makes the EMDR method so effective. This is because while the processing of psychologically stressful memories can be prevented under normal conditions by mental blocks or repression processes, EMDR enables the neural processing of the negative experiences. This process can help the patient’s nervous system integrate traumatic memories or overcome depression.
Do I always have to move my eyes?
The primary procedure in EMDR involves rhythmic eye movements. Likewise, bilateral stimulation, which can be implemented using tactile and acoustic signals, is another component of the EMDR method. Each patient and each therapy is tailored individually, so the composition of visual and other bilateral components can vary from one therapy to another.
Is EMDR a kind of hypnosis?
NO! Unlike hypnosis, EMDR does not involve any form of trance or dream states. On the contrary, EMDR requires a lot of concentration, attention and reflection on the traumatic memories on the part of the patient in order to be able to process the experiences with the help of EMDR therapy. Thus, EMDR is not a type of hypnosis.
Who is Francine Shapiro?
Francine Shapiro (February 18, 1948 – June 16, 2019) was an American educator and psychologist. As the discoverer and inventor of EMDR therapy, she has received multiple awards from numerous scientific institutions. Her work has shaped trauma therapy and psychotherapy to this day.
When can EMDR be helpful?
EMDR is useful in the context of trauma therapy and in the treatment of depression and anxiety. However, it must be discussed in advance with the treating therapist whether and to what extent EMDR is induced as a form of therapy, because every patient has different symptoms and therefore individually suitable methods and procedures must be selected at the beginning of the therapy.
How does an EMDR session work?
EMDR therapy usually goes through eight different phases. The following list provides a general overview:
- History/creation of the treatment plan
- Preparations of the patient
- Evaluation/classification of memories
- Physical test
- Follow-up questions
I will be happy to explain the exact meaning and implementation of the individual steps in an initial consultation.
The treatment methods described here and on further pages originate from empirical medicine. The majority of these established, medical therapy methods have not yet been sufficiently scientifically validated according to the principles of evidence-based medicine (orthodox medicine). In particular, randomized, controlled studies or comprehensive meta-analyses do not yet exist. A success of the empirical medical therapy forms cannot be guaranteed in every treatment case.