EMDR therapy or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy is a psychoanalytical therapy which relieves patients from the unpleasing or disturbing memories from the past.
EMDR therapy aims at targeting the traumatic memories that have occurred in the past. These memories remain stored in the brain system and usually do not respond to normal conversation.
The EMDR therapy was introduced by a psychologist Francine Shapiro, who found that by making certain specific eye movements, the intensity of some upsetting thoughts can be minimized. Following that many psychologists found this way of healing their patients very useful. Thus EMDR therapy became popular and various other treatment methods were also incorporated to provide a holistic approach towards healing.
When a person experiences daily life situations, the brain keeps a record of the same and stores the feelings and thoughts that the person had developed during that period. During a following similar experience the brain is able to recollect and provide information about the previous occurrence thus making the person aware of the forthcoming situation.
However, in case of some traumatic, unpleasing life experiences, the responses coming from the brain are disturbed due to strong emotions. This causes the feelings and negative emotions to get trapped in the system and they are not able to let out in any form. This can be considered as a form of suppression of emotions. This can lead to increased stress for an individual and invite varied type of responses during simple life situations, anger, frustration, guilt, etc.
This can cause hindrance in the daily life of the person and change the way the person thinks, believes or behaves.
The EMDR therapy is believed to use rapid eye movements to connect with the traumatic events in the past. The therapy uses guided eye movements for this purpose. These are supposed to help in the unlocking of the trapped emotions and when the person experiences similar situations again, they can be able to react in a fresh manner.
An initial consultation with the therapist is arranged for detailed evaluation of the problems of the patients. Accordingly, the therapy sessions are planned and executed. During the therapy session, the therapist tries to assess the image of the negative memory, the thoughts and feelings associated with it, and the preferred result required in dealing with the traumatic situation.
On completion of the assessment, the therapist helps the patients through a series of guided eye movements. These instructions lead the patients through positive feelings and emotions and enable the release of negative emotions.
The EMDR therapy is found useful in conditions and complaints that arise out of serious traumatic incidents and leave long lasting effects in the minds of the individual. Some conditions in which EMDR therapy is used are violence, child abuse or trauma, depression, anxiety, panic disorders and insomnia.