EMDR is a structured treatment approach integrating elements of other psychotherapies such as psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, person-centered, body-based and interactional therapies. It was originally designed to alleviate traumatic memories, it is now used to address a range of complaints that follow distressing life experiences.
Clients who benefit from EMDR include anyone with trauma-related symptoms, PSTD, any levels of fear, sadness, or distress. Trauma creates changes in our nervous system caused by cortisol release, spikes in adrenaline and fluctuations in neurotransmitters resulting in a loss of the ability to self-regulate and appropriately process information.
EMDR accelerates information processing, resulting in the adaptive resolution of traumatic memories. The treatment works by bilateral and dual attention stimuli triggering a physiological state that facilitates information processing by:
1. Reconditioning caused by a relaxation response
2. A shift in brain state, enhancing the activation and strengthening of weak associations
3. Other factors involved in the client’s dual focus of attention, as simultaneously attending to the present stimuli and the past trauma