Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing




A revolutionary technique for reducing the

effects of Adverse Life Experiences



Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Thearpy is an extraordinary and natural technique for enabling clients to overcome

stress-related disorders - including traumatic or adverse life experiences, pain, depression and anxiety symptoms, including panic attacks and

phobias (Shapiro, 2013).


The process is a relatively simple one involving the therapist moving his or her fingers rhythmically back and forth in front of the client's eyes

as the client tracks the hand movements with their eyes - keeping their head stationary - while attending to the disturbing thoughts, feelings,

sensations and images associated with the traumatic memory. After several sets of eye movements, the client can typically expect to experience

a spontaneous shift and reduction in severity of symptoms that might otherwise take months or years to achieve.


Botkin and Hogan (2005) suggest that EMDR does two things better than any other treatment modality, thus:

"Firstly it rapidly and completely uncovers past traumatic events that are repressed or

partially remembered. It is very common for a patient to say something like, 'I can see

the whole thing very clearly now,' or, 'I felt like I was back there again'. This experience

by itself doesn't help the patient resolve the traumatic experience, in fact, patients generally

feel very distressed when they fully uncover a traumatic memory ... [o]nce the traumatic

memory is fully accessed in this way, however, the second strength of EMDR is that it

allows the patient to process the memory so that the reliving component of the memory is

eliminated, and the patient can then remember the traumatic event in a more abstract

way. It is clear that this processing can only occur if the traumatic event is first uncovered

and fully accessed".


This treatment modality is applied in a series of eight phases - inclusive of the actual eye movement technique - and, therefore, requires a commitment

from the client to engage in the process from beginning to end.





Botkin, A. & Hogan, R. C. (2005). Induced After-Death Communication: A New Therapy for Healing Grief and Trauma. Hampton Roads Publishing.


Shapiro, F. (2013). The Role of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy in in Medicine: Addressing the Psychological and

Physical Symptoms Stemming from Adverse Life Experiences. The Permanente Journal, 18 (1), 71-77.









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Last modified: 08/31/23