Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. In 1987, psychologist Dr. Francine Shapiro made the chance observation that eye movements can reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts, under certain conditions. Since then, EMDR has developed and evolved through the contributions of therapists and researchers all over the world.
EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. Scientific research has established EMDR as effective for post traumatic stress. However, clinicians also have reported success using EMDR in treatment of the following conditions: grief, phobias, pain disorders, anxiety, stress reduction, addictions sexual and/or physical abuse and many more.
A structured therapy that encourages the patient to briefly focus on the trauma memory while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation (typically eye movements), which is associated with a reduction in the vividness and emotion associated with the trauma memories.