Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapy designed to alleviate distress associated with adverse experiences.
EMDR Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions about Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Scientific research suggests EMDR may be considered an effective treatment for improving symptoms of depression. EMDR is well suited to processing adverse childhood experiences. Adverse childhood experiences increase the likelihood of becoming depressed, the severity and duration of depression and its likelihood of recurrence.
Approximately 2.5 million Australian adults (13%) are survivors of childhood abuse. Complex Trauma occurs as a result of repeated trauma experienced by a child or young person. Scientific research supports the clinical efficiency of EMDR in treating Complex Trauma. EMDR treatment does require intensive prolonged exposure to the traumatic experiences.
During EMDR treatment the client focuses simultaneously on (a) spontaneous associations of traumatic images, thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations and (b) bilateral stimulation that is most commonly in the form of repeated eye movements.
A phased approach to treating trauma is recommended including stabilisation, processing of memories and consolidation of treatment gains. The EMDR preparation phase focuses on self-regulation using safe/calm place imagery. EMDR integrates naturally into other stabilisation approaches such as trauma informed ACT (psychological flexibility) and trauma informed Compassion Focused Therapy. Processing of memories is achieved utilising EMDR bilateral stimulation during desensitisation and subsequent phases. In addition to EMDR consolidation of memory processing, ACT and Compassionate Mind Training provide more wholistic frameworks to continue consolidation of treatment gains.