EMDR Behavioral Therapy

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a type of treatment designed to help alleviate the symptoms associated with traumatic situations and memories. It combines two approaches, cognitive behavioral therapy and bi-lateral stimulation.  An EMDR trained therapist helps the client identify the memories, negative cognitions,  physiological responses and emotions that create the distress around the trauma.  Then bilateral stimulation is applied.  Bilateral stimulation is one of the following: alternate tapping of the clients knees by the therapist, headphones that alternately beep from ear to ear or hand tappers that have a subtle alternating vibration.  The therapist then will facilitate the process of working through the trauma. The goal is to start with a high emotional charge around the traumatic memories and end the EMDR process with a lower emotional charge when recalling the memory. After EMDR processing, clients generally report that the emotional distress related to the memory has been eliminated or greatly decreased, and that they have gained important cognitive insights.

Further Reading:

EMDR Institute, Inc.

Last updated: March 23, 2010

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