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Simple explanation of EMDR

EMDR is a psychological treatment, which studies have shown to be one of the most effective treatments for reducing the symptoms of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) EMDR is a treatment in which the attention is simultaneously pulled from left to right, left to right, etc., while the person recounts memories of his or her trauma.

Where does the abbreviation EMDR come from?

The method is called Eye Movement because Francine Shapiro developed it herself after she experienced stress reduction with eye movements; in EMDR therapy, patients were asked to talk about their trauma while following their hands and fingers with their eyes. Nowadays EMDR often applied with sound from headphones or by tapping the knee.

Explanation of EMDR

PTSD is a mental disorder that arises after a traumatic event. Symptoms include repeated recalling of the event, avoidance of the memory, and extreme upset over the memory. If the symptoms persist for more than a month and significantly interfere with daily life, even after the situation is no longer dangerous, it is called PTSD (DSM-IV).

The underlying effects of EMDR

Most literature suggests that EMDR puts the brain in a state that facilitates the processing of traumatic memories. By reliving the memory, it becomes flexible and can be stored in a different form. Francine Shapiro herself argues that EMDR facilitates the integration of trauma memories with adaptive information; many other treatments for PTSD, such as 'exposurehave similar effects, but after an EMDR treatment the memories told are much less vivid and less emotional. It is thought that the effect is achieved by improving the communication between the brain hemispheres through fingers following the eyes.

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