Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR), is a form of exposure therapy developed to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other stress induced anxiety syndromes. A large number of research studies have found it to be an effective therapy and it is recognized as a preferred treatment by the Veterans Affairs Administration and the Department of Defense.
This technique involves having the patient visualize the traumatic event while the therapist presents the patient with alternating left-right sensory stimulation. This alternating stimulation can be visual, auditory, or touch, depending on the preference of the patient. There are several different theories about how EMDR works. Research indicates that the alternating right-left stimulation brings faster symptom relief than exposure therapy alone.
I have been working with EMDR since 1998 and find it to be most effective when added into more standard psychotherapy, rather than as a stand alone treatment. I have had formal training through Dr. Francine Shapiro’s EMDR Institute and am a member of the EMDR International Association.