Guillermo Leon Brzostowski, MFT
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a method of psychotherapy that has proven effective for the treatment of trauma. We know that when a person is very upset, such as in trauma cases, their brain cannot process information as it does ordinarily. The traumatic moment becomes “frozen in time,” and remembering a trauma can feel as bad as going through it the first time since the images, sounds, smells, and feelings haven’t changed and they are literally being experienced again in real time. Such memories have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person sees the world and relates to other people.
EMDR has a direct effect on the way the brain processes information. Normal information processing is resumed, so following a successful EMDR session, a person no longer relives the images, sounds, and feelings as they did when the event first occured. They still remember the details of the event, but it is less upsetting as they are no longer experiencing the event over and over again. EMDR breaks this cycle of re-living the trauma and allows the trauma to fade into memory.
When a patient experiences an EMDR session their brain takes on similar patterns to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Therefore, EMDR can be thought of as a physiologically based therapy that helps a person see disturbing material in a new and less distressing way. EMDR has proven effective in treating post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as panic attacks, complicated grief, disturbing memories, phobias, and performance anxiety.
To find an EMDR therapist in your area, go to this address, enter your zip code, and interview a therapist to find the one you feel safe with - http://www.emdr.com/clinic.htm.
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