Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a type of psychotherapy that has been scientifically demonstrated to be effective in treating trauma and negative life experiences, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as those resulting from military combat, physical assaults, rape, natural disasters, and accidents. Recent research has also shown that EMDR can be effective in treating a variety of other mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), eating disorders, and phobias, such as fear of dogs, heights, and snakes.
The therapy involves eight phases, the first of which is the history and treatment planning phase, during which the therapist gathers information about the person's history and develops a treatment plan. The second phase is preparation, during which the therapist teaches coping techniques and establishes a therapeutic relationship with the person. The third phase is assessment, during which the therapist helps the person identify the traumatic event and associated maladaptive thought patterns. The fourth phase is desensitization, during which the therapist uses eye movements, taps, or sounds to help the person process the traumatic memory until the subjective units of disturbance (SUDS) reach zero. The fifth phase is installation, during which the therapist strengthens the adaptive thought pattern. The sixth phase is body scan, during which the person scans their body for any negative sensations and processes them. The seventh phase is closure, during which the therapist guides the person through a mindfulness technique to close the session. The eighth phase is reevaluation, during which the therapist checks in to reevaluate the treatment plan and make any necessary changes.
Research suggests that EMDR therapy can be a safe and effective treatment option for individuals experiencing trauma-related symptoms and other mental health conditions. However, it is important to note that the effectiveness of EMDR therapy may vary depending on the individual and the specific nature of their condition.