What Is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy?
EMDR is usually an eight-step psychotherapy that uses special techniques to reverse negative, traumatic experiences. When someone experiences something traumatic, it can be challenging for the brain to process new information. In a way, the individual is stuck in the event, and anything related to it — a smell, sound or sight — can trigger a fight or flight response.
In EMDR therapy, a licensed practitioner targets trauma-related symptoms and works to reverse the underlying beliefs, feelings and memories. Instead, these negative feelings are replaced with positive ideas appropriate to the situation.
For example, an individual who went through war may constantly feel like they are in danger if they hear any sound resembling a gunshot. EMDR therapy can help the person realize they are no longer in danger and replace this emotion with feelings of safety.