EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years take effect. Although most people think that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal, EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.
What is so innovative about EMDR?
When you fall and cut your hand on a concrete sidewalk, the wound won’t close correctly if you have gravel or dirt lodged in the cut. The mind is similar in its healing process. The brain naturally takes steps toward healing, but if the processing system has a block from the impact of a traumatic event, the emotional wound can’t heal correctly either. Intense suffering occurs, just like with an infection. EMDR removes this block and allows the brain to perform its natural healing processes so that recovery can continue. At its core, EMDR enables emotionally distressed people to recover from the symptoms of their trauma and can greatly reduce recovery time from a traumatic incident.
After over 30 positive controlled outcome studies, here are some results:
- One study showed that after three 90-minute sessions, 84 – 90% of single-trauma victims no longer manifested post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms
- An HMO Kaiser Permanente funded-study published findings stating that 100% of single-trauma victims and 77% of multiple-trauma victims no longer showed PTSD symptoms after six 50-minute sessions.
- Another study found 77% of combat veterans to be free of PTSD in 12 sessions.
- EMDR is now recognized as a proven form of treatment for trauma and other disturbing events by:
- The American Psychiatric Association
- The Department of Defense
- The World Health Organization