EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an approach to psychotherapy and counseling that is comprised of principles, procedures and protocols. It is not a simple technique characterized primarily by the use of eye movements. EMDR is founded on the premise that each person has both an innate tendency to move toward health and wholeness, and the inner capacity to achieve it. EMDR is grounded in psychological science and is informed by both psychological theory and research on the brain.

EMDR integrates elements from both psychological theories (e.g. affect, attachment, behavior, bioinformational processing, cognitive, humanistic, family systems, psychodynamic and somatic) and psychotherapies (e.g., body-based, cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, person-centered, and psychodynamic) into a standardized set of procedures and clinical protocols. Research on how the brain processes information and generates consciousness also informs the evolution of EMDR theory and procedure.

Scientific research has established EMDR as effective for post traumatic stress. However, clinicians also have reported success using EMDR in treatment of the following conditions:

  • panic attacks
  • complicated grief
  • dissociative disorders
  • disturbing memories
  • phobias
  • pain disorders
  • eating disorders
  • performance anxiety
  • stress reduction
  • addictions
  • sexual and/or physical abuse
  • body dysmorphic disorders
  • personality disorders

Your EMDR therapist will evaluate the applicability of EMDR techniques for your particular situation.