EMDR incorporates elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy with bilateral eye movements or other forms of rhythmic, left- right stimulation. One of the key elements of EMDR is “dual stimulation.” During treatment, you are asked to think or talk about memories, triggers, and painful emotions while simultaneously focusing on your therapist’s moving finger or another form of bilateral stimuli. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR involves recalling a stressful past event and “reprogramming” the memory in the light of a positive, self-chosen belief, while using rapid eye movements to facilitate the process. In a typical EMDR therapy session, you focus on traumatic memories and associated negative emotions and beliefs while tracking your therapist’s moving finger with your eyes as it moves back and forth across your field of vision.
This enables you to access positive ways of reframing the original trauma (reprocessing) and to release the body’s stored negative emotional charges around it. (desensitization)
The memory is still there, but it is less upsetting. Experts are still unsure how it works, but anecdotally, the reports are very favorable.