It’s magic y’all. Brain magic! Well…maybe it’s just neuroscience, but still…it can feel like magic when other therapies are not working for you.
EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (Francine Shapiro has noted that she would have shortened the name, but it kind of took off…and now it’s too late) is a therapeutic method aimed at desensitizing sensitive subjects and reprocessing events/memories. While it has been found to be effective for addressing traumatic events, it has also been found to work well with other troubles such as anxiety and phobias.
Ok, ok. So the mechanics of EMDR look a little different than your typical talk therapy. The old school, traditional method of EMDR involves me waving my arm in front of your eyes so that your eyes are going *right*left*right*left*right*. I can also use other “bi-lateral stimulation” devices such as “tappers” and/or a head set. Stay with me, I know it can sound odd and truthfully, it seemed odd to me too at first, but one reason I was trained in this method is because I was able to experience how well it worked myself! I also sought the training because it is evidence-based and worked well with so many.
So the idea behind EMDR is that it may replicate what is occurring during REM sleep. Have you ever seen someone sleeping and marveled (or freaked out) at the motions the eyes made? The idea is that your brain has a way of healing itself and wants to heal itself and this is occurring during sleep and also during EMDR sessions. I can tell you that there is absolutely a commonality in how people process during an EMDR session. I do not share these experiences before an EMDR session as I would not want to lead or influence someone’s process, but there are definitely themes I notice that indicate that something awesome is happening in your brain and body. In general, the goal is to reduce how distressing you find an event and to have a healthier way of thinking about the event and yourself in relation to that event. So while it may not be magic, it is absolutely amazing and I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about if it is right for you!