Trauma Recovery - Eye Movement and Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR):
What is EMDR?
EMDR treatment focuses on reorganizing traumatic memories that interfere with an individual's daily functioning. When a person is overwhelmed with trauma (e.g., a near-death experience or abuse of some kind), the experience may become "frozen" in time. This is the brain's way of adapting to or coping with the fearful memory. It sets up a behavioral pattern of avoidance and overreactions to anything that resembles the original trauma.
How is EMDR conducted?
Once the therapist and patient identify a specific traumatic memory to be the focus of the EMDR treatment session, the therapist facilitates bilateral stimulation of the brain while the client focuses on the disturbing memory. This facilitates the ability for the person to see the disturbing material in a new, less distressing, and in some cases, a more meaningful way.
Research has shown that EMDR is effective in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It has also been shown to be helpful in the treatment of panic attacks, anxiety disorders and complicated grief. For more information visit the EMDR web site: www.emdria.org.
Other Exposure Therapy approaches:
Dr. Heymen also utilizes other exposure therapies for trauma recovery in her work. For example, Stage II DBT may be a better option for some patients or integrating EMDR with Stage II DBT may be the most effective treatment plan.