EMDR is a structured and scientifically proven psychotherapeutic method that facilitates the treatment of various psychopathologies and issues related to traumatic events and stressful experiences.
What is EMDR?
The acronym E.M.D.R. stands for "Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing" and concerns a specific technique for processing small or big traumas that may have threatened the sense of personal integrity and thus conditioned the way of coping with everyday issues or the way of thinking about the future.
EMDR treatment must be part of a path. Its standardized procedures which include a double focus on images, thoughts, emotions or sensations associated to some events, together with alternate bi-lateral stimulations, such as eye movements or tactile stimulation.
What is a trauma?
When the memory of an event or of some repeated situations still triggers some disturbing negative emotions, it is likely that that we have experienced a trauma. For instance, we may have felt in danger (or feared for the safety of our loved ones), or we may have experienced events that, although not being dangerous, were destabilizing, such as "attachment traumas" (e.g. if we didn't feel protected by our care-givers). In International Psychology Practice, we apply EMDR therapy always within the framework of attachment theory.
Due to its overwhelming nature, a trauma leaves little neural space to processing, therefore emotions, sensations and thoughts may persist without a proper integration and somehow remain separate from one's own personal history. The sense of personal identity is affected, and this is visible whenever a current situation is in some way connected to what happened in the past.
Emdr therapy is about: "leaving the past in the past", that is, making sure that our sense of personal identity is no longer conditioned by what has happened, but is linked to a more adaptive and functional sense of self.
How does emdr work?
During EMDR processing, the traumatic event is recalled together with an external stimulus activating both hemispheres. The process facilitates access to all aspects of the memory (sensations, thoughts and emotions) and, just as it happens when we process our daily events in our sleep, new inter-hemispheric connections and new neural associations are created so to integrate the memory into one's personal identity in an adaptive way, i.e. restoring a safer and stronger sense of self.
EMDR does nothing but replicate a natural functioning of the brain, which is programmed for self-healing, just as all our body organs. When EMDR is performed with a good preparation and a good of alliance between therapist and patient, it can make no harm.
EMDR is the therapy of election in the treatment of trauma; it has been approved by all the major scientific bodies worldwide, including the World Health Organization. Countless controlled ranomized trial studies prove evidence in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and of various psychological disorders. Furthermore, there is evidence that EMDR treatment can modify the neurobiology of brain function in every single session.