Sometimes an individual who has experienced a terrifying (traumatic) event will continue to think about it, feel it, and re-experience it no matter how hard she/he tries to forget it. It is important to know that the processing mechanism in the brain can experience a block, and the event does not get fully processed. A full processing includes action in both the right brain and the left brain, which allows the event to become part of the past.

A method for helping the brain to complete the processing is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). It stimulates the coordination of the left and right brain to complete the processing of the traumatic event by the use of bilateral stimulation. Bilateral stimulation is done by visual, tactile, or audio. This is a well developed, studied, and tested method that has proven effectiveness.

It does not mean you have to talk about the event in detail. It is not hypnosis. One does not forget the event but its continuing interruption on life is eliminated or greatly reduced.

There are 8 phases in the treatment. The first phase is a thorough assessment of the individual including history and current symptoms. Length of treatment varies given the individuals specific needs, but often the improvement occurs quite quickly. There is a preparation phase and the pace of treatment is geared to the client’s needs.

EMDR therapists must complete required training and clinical practice.

An an EMDR therapist I have seen several clients have dramatic positive results. It is rewarding to see clients get relief from their symptoms.

Article by Nanon Perdaems-Vigen, LIMHP, LADC, LPC, EMDR Therapist