A psychotherapeutic method that taps into your natural healing ability.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a method developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro in the mid-1980s. Dr. Shapiro noticed that by performing rapid-eye movements while revisiting traumatic memories or problem areas, subjects were able to tap into natural healing processes and make psychological progress.
When we experience a traumatic event, we process it in many ways: visually, cognitively, emotionally, and physically. When we non-judgmentally revisit a trouble spot and engage all of these processing methods, we are able to access our natural healing abilities to reprocess the event in a more positive way. Dr. Shapiro found that the external stimuli of rapid-eye movements assisted with this engagement process. As EMDR developed, practitioners recognized that alternative stimuli, such as repetitive tapping or sound, could be used to achieve the desired results. I use music and nature sounds prepared by an EMDR therapist and trainer.
When we cut a finger, our body instinctively knows how to send white blood cells to the area to fight infection, and how to form a scab to stop the bleeding and protect the wound while new cells are being produced. We learn to assist this process through washing the wound and applying a bandage, but the real healing takes place internally, where we naturally understand and respond to problems on a largely unconscious level. Emotional and psychological trauma can spark the same natural healing powers within us, but sometimes the healing gets blocked. Like washing an infected wound, EMDR taps into the healing properties of the body, mind and spirit. It can work wonders, sometimes in a surprisingly short time.
In my opinion, the power of EMDR comes from the involvement of all the ways we store and process experience: visually, cognitively, emotionally, and physically. I believe it is a form of mindfulness that gets the ego out of the way and allows the natural processing, the kind that takes place every night in our dreams, to do its work.
EMDR has been shown to be effective in trauma recovery, whether from a single incident or an extended period of abuse. It has also been used to enhance performance, to strengthen inner resources and to support desired changes. I usually introduce it as a possibility in the first session or two, and a majority of my clients choose to make use of EMDR as part of their treatment plans.
From the first time I met Kathie, I knew that she was special. Through the work I did with her, I found answers within myself to questions I never dreamt of asking. Today, I know that I can handle my life's challenges. Kathie played a crucial role in my healing and for this I will be forever grateful.
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