The EMDR therapy, Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a cutting edge scientific technique based on the discovery that our eye position (the optic nerve in the brain) relates to storage of memory.
It is particularly effective in the treatment of fears of everyday life such as fear of flying or transport, vacuums, some animals such as snakes, rats, spiders, etc.
It is also a very effective way to treat states of stress and anxiety related to traumatic events such as divorce, accidents, assaults / rapes, natural disasters, wars, in general all situations or the recollection of an event which brings to life the psychological, emotional and physical distress of the past.
The interest of EMDR is that it is not necessary to carry out a long analysis of all the history relating to the problem, the simple knowledge of the “target” is enough to start the treatment, and in only a few sessions the transformation takes place.
This is an extremely well-documented practice, which has been the subject of a large number of scientific studies demonstrating its effectiveness, thus becoming the standard treatment for “post-traumatic stress” and many forms of anxiety.
The theory behind EMDR is based on the study of REM sleep phase, or rapid eye movement.
This is the dream phase of our sleep, where, while the eyes move quickly under the eyelids, the memory and emotional information is processed by our brain, whose two lobes communicate.
When all is normal, the emotions of an event are processed and reach a normal level of equilibrium, and then this emotionally stabilized event is properly stored in memory.
In the case of traumatic or overly anxiogenic events, this process does not operate because the information and emotions are so unbearable to the conscious that they are directly relegated to the unconscious without treatment.
As a result, whenever something reminds us of this event, the unbearable emotions that are linked to it will be re-experienced with the same intensity.
The discovery that made possible the creation of EMDR by Francine Shappiro in the 1980s, is that this memory / emotional rebalancing that normally takes place during the REM phase of sleep can be done awake by external bilateral stimulation. Moreover, once the negative emotions are treated (phase of desensitization), it is possible to install, in the same way, the emotions that should occur instead (reprocessing).
This is not a talking therapy as traditional psycho analysis. EMDR is based on the latest neurological findings, When we move our eyes, different parts of our brain are accessed eg: memory.
A well-known example of post-traumatic stress is that of the traumatized war veteran, who long after his return to civilian life, during the July 14 fireworks, would throw himself on the ground trembling, terrorized at the first blast, reliving the horror of war.
The remarkable efficiency of EMDR is that it is not only possible to remove the incapacitating fears (desensitization), but it is also possible to install the emotions that should normally occur, eg: it is the summer, the ‘spirit’ is at the party, I will have a good time, the show is beautiful, thus from the “big problem” to the small fears of everyday life, EMDR can represent a quick and simple solution to implement.
Should you require further information on our EMDR Therapist, Please read more on Thomas Amiard.