Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
E.M.D.R is a model that brings together different psychotherapeutic models in a structured eight phase approach.
Two of the main elements of E.M.D.R. are dual attention and bi-lateral stimulation.
Dual attention describes the process of the client focusing on present internal experience whilst also experiencing external stimulation at the same time. The external stimulation may be eye movements, noises or taps, (touch).
Bi-lateral stimulation is the eye movements, sounds or taps, (touch). This seems to help the left and right brain to link and connect in a positive therapeutic manner. This helps the client ‘process’, (move the furniture around inside) to help change their experience.
Although the protocol is structured, the actual desensitization element is indeed very person centred. The therapist will ask the client to notice what they are experiencing whilst focusing on their problem, at the same time, external stimulation is presented. The client may experience a range of thoughts, images, emotions and body sensations whilst the desensitization process is ongoing.
E.M.D.R. was primarily used for client’s presenting with P.T.S.D. (post traumatic stress disorder); however, I believe it can be used to help people with a range of emotional problems.
Many professionals around the world now have E.M.D.R. in their ‘tool bag’ and it continues to develop in many ways.
I know from firsthand experience just how powerful this therapy can be, (yes, therapists are human and they do have problems as well). The power and the speed in which E.M.D.R helped me was astonishing, the way it linked and connected my thoughts, beliefs, images, emotions and body sensations was absolutely phenomenal. I was able to ‘process’ something which as been around for a long time, kind of getting in the way.
To me, the real key to the benefits of E.M.D.R are its ability to help a person process, by association, their thoughts, beliefs, images and bodily sensations. This means it can help a person ‘process’ all the elements of a problem and produce positive change.