Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma.  EMDR therapy was created by Dr. Francine Shapiro. In 1987, she observed that eye movement can lower the intensity of upsetting thoughts. The eye movement in EMDR has been compared to what happens when we dream, or experience REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. The client will focus on a traumatic memory while also focusing on eye movement or another form of bilateral sensory stimulation.  During EMDR, the traumatic event is processed in a multi-layered facet.

It has been used to help over 2 million people worldwide in the treatment of:

  • Trauma &PTSD (Physical abuse, sexual abuse, childhood trauma‚Ķ)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Phobias
  • Grief
  • Low self-esteem
  • Performance anxiety

Often, unprocessed traumatic events can have significant impact on day-to-day functioning.The goal of EMDR therapy is to leave you with the emotions, understanding, and perspectives that will lead to healthy and useful behaviors and interactions.  I have seen it make a significant difference with many of my clients who have suffered from unprocessed traumatic events.

Positive results have been found for EMDR treatment with war veterans suffering from PTSD (Carlson, Chemtob, Rusnak, &Hedlund, 1996), anxiety disorders (Nadler, 1996; Doctor, 1994), crime victims (Shapiro & Solomon, 1995), childhood PTSD (Greenwald)

Check out the interview with Dr. Francine Shapiro, as she explains why and how EMDR works.


EMDR Institute, Inc.