Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing – an approach empirically validated by numerous studies – was developed and founded by Francine Shapiro around 1990 as a safe and effective means of reincorporating traumatized parts of self into a more adaptive whole. It is now considered a first-line treatment for PTSD and has been adopted by both private and government organizations, including the Veterans Administration, as a relatively short-term approach to trauma recovery. [Click here to open the official EMDR website in a separate window.]
EMDR represents a new stage in integrative approaches and is considered one of the few directly ‘transformative’ therapies. Building on the Adaptive Information Processing model, it is designed to connect fear structures (or trauma states) to more adaptive parts of self. In essence, it is a recognition, while accessing fear, that resources are present, that you are indeed ‘okay’.
EMDR is not talk therapy. For the most part, it represents an internal process. Many that have experienced EMDR appreciate the fact that they do not have to talk about the trauma. The healing here, like every truly ‘transformative’ approach, relies on recognition of internal resources, on the realization that so many parts of you have been taking care of you all along.
“I call this process the alchemy of the dark emotions: knowing how to stay connected to the energy of painful emotions, to attend to and befriend it, to surrender to it, mindfully, without being overwhelmed. This is how we listen to the language of the heart.”
~ Miriam Greenspan, Healing Through the Dark Emotions
EMDR, through self-driven, structured access to old memory states, provides present, conscious access to the subconscious and to the vital core beliefs held there.
Potential (and expected) outcomes include…
Allowing Internal Experience
Corrective Experience (memory reconsolidation)
Changing Core Beliefs, Taking in the Good
Integrating Parts of Self