The initials ‘EMDR’ are an abbreviation of “Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing”.
What Is It?
In 1987, Dr. Francine Shapiro made the chance observation that a repetitive bilateral eye movement could significantly reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts and feelings. Since then, the protocols for delivering EMDR have developed rapidly. It is now used by health practitioners throughout the world. Clinical research studies have shown that it can accelerate the body’s own natural adaptive information processing of memories, and that the effects are usually long lasting.
EMDR was initially developed for sufferers of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). People who have suffered accidents, natural or public disasters, war and violence (combatants and civilians), or physical or sexual assault, have all benefitted.
In 2005, EMDR was validated as a treatment of choice for PTSD by NICE (The UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence).
The particular strengths of EMDR are that it produces long lasting results extremely quickly, is very well tolerated by clients and can even be done ‘blind’ to practitioner (that is in very sensitive issues, the client can be treated without the practitioner ever knowing what the traumatic event was).
What Symptoms Can It Treat?
EMDR has been successful in treating the symptoms of PTSD, and is now developing to treat other areas of psychological and emotional distress, including blocks to effective performance.
It has been shown to work well as an effective support for professionals in the private and public sectors who struggle with workplace issues and conflicts and the pressures and stress that come with the re-structuring or down-sizing of companies and organizations.
Symptoms include anxiety and depression, panic attacks, phobias, sleep disturbance, performance anxiety and various alcohol, food and substance addictions. People have found EMDR can help to improve self-confidence, leading to more positive and emotionally balanced lives.
How Long Does It Take To See Results?
This depends on your particular issue and/or symptoms, and what you are hoping to achieve. Typically, a course of treatment lasts 6-12 sessions, with appointments scheduled weekly.