Desensitization and Reprocessing During Eye Movements (EMDR)

Dr. Francine Shapiro created the EMDR method (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) in the mid-1980s. To a large extent, the medical and scientific communities and the general public have just lately come to recognize and appreciate EMDR as one of the newer “power” treatments. Because of how much more quickly they produce results than “talk therapy” or psychotherapy, these treatments are often referred to as “power” therapies. Accelerated treatments include NET(TM), hypnosis, TFT, and variations on TFT like EFT.

Like other brief treatments, EMDR/Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing are effective because it appeals to the mind’s baser, more primitive functions. In contrast, the PreFrontal Cortex is a primary emphasis of talk therapy, as is the use of insight to facilitate transformation. Though EMDR primarily operates subtly, it can bring about conscious realizations.

EMDR is considered an “energy psychology” because of the belief that it stimulates and rapidly alters the mind/body continuum. The practice of acupuncture and related acupressure techniques is central to energy psychology, which draws its foundations from traditional Chinese medicine. According to proponents of acupuncture, the body’s meridians function like rivers through which electric energy, or chi, flows. Anything of a physical, emotional, or traumatic nature might throw this energy out of whack. According to the principles of energy psychology, resolving these issues is as simple as restoring the system’s equilibrium.

While EMDR is effective for a wide range of issues, it is most often used to treat traumatic memories and experiences. The therapist performs rapid back-and-forth hand movements while the patient follows along with just eye movements. The client is urged to think about the trauma during the process. Twenty-five to twenty-seven hand motions later, the client is prompted to reflect on the aspect(s) of the traumatic experience that is now receiving the greatest attention. This new objective necessitates a second round of the process. Unlike conventional treatment, which may take months or even years, the condition is generally healed quickly and painlessly after just a few sessions.

This eye action is similar to the rapid eye movements (REM) that occur during sleep. It is thought that during REM, we transfer information from working memory to long-term storage. In long-term memory, emotions are muted and the experience is recalled as if from a vast distance. It just takes an unpleasant and traumatic experience for it to become ingrained. This method of treatment may reprocess the information and eliminate the complication in a short amount of time.

When Does EMDR Not Work?

Trauma is treated with EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) by activating the brain’s internal resources for mending damaged memories of the traumatic event. If you want to find lasting peace, you need to flush out your entire mental and emotional system, as well as any residual memories and physical sensations. Before initiating the EMDR process the therapist installs a Safe Place that provides the client with a technique for restoring mental balance and provides the clinician with a test that the client is ready to do EMDR therapy training.

If a client “fails the test,” however, what then? Failure to create a Safe Place may occur with individuals who lack awareness of sensory impressions and physical feelings. Common shorthand defines such customers as being entirely “in their heads.”

The therapist will finally investigate the root reason for the client’s emotional disconnection. The customer certainly didn’t acquire their quirks from birth. Where did you learn that emotion may be harmful? In instances when the customer expressed feelings; what was the outcome like?

The therapist may suggest a routine of physical activities meant to heighten the patient’s perception of their own body. Here are several examples:

1. Go for a stroll in some tranquil place-woods, gardens, and lakeside. Focus your attention on the information provided by your senses, such as the hue of a flowering tree, the sound of birdsong, the feel of the wind on your face, the surface beneath your feet, the bark of a tree, the temperature of the air or water, the scent of pine needles or a freshly opened flower, and so on.

Playing the “mad-sad-glad-fearful” game, in which you explain a time when you were angry, sad, happy, or scared, might help you become more self-aware of your emotions.

Third, participate in a practice like yoga, dancing, or massage that focuses on developing a deeper understanding of the body.

4. Meditate by concentrating on a meaningful word, the in and out of your breath, or a candle flame. As your mind wanders from the place of attention, as it undoubtedly will, gently pull it back. This exercise helps to strengthen a region of the mind you may not be used to utilizing.

5. Take a stroll (if you are a real Type A person, your “slow walk” will look completely normal to everyone else) and focus on your breathing, the feeling of your shoes on the ground, and the altered perspective you acquire by moving at a more leisurely pace.

Incorporating such routines into your life for a week or two will likely help you gain the sort of bodily awareness necessary for setting up a Safe Place and engaging in EMDR.

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