Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Certain events can deeply affect an individual. These experiences can lead to psychological problems that manifest over time. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) is a therapy for people who continue to experience the consequences of an impactful experience. These may be memories of an unpleasant event which continue to impose in images and nightmares. Other symptoms that often occur are startle and avoidance responses. EMDR is effective in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other trauma-related anxiety, but also in various other psychological symptoms (anxiety, tension, depression and burnout) provided that these are caused by negative experiences.

EMDR is a set of actions that processes the memories of these experiences. The therapist will ask you to think back to the event, including related images, thoughts and feelings to begin the process. The client keeps the negative memories in mind. The therapist will then move their fingers horizontally for about 20 second while the patient client follows this movement with their eyes. Then the patient is asked to take a breath and describe their actual feelings. This action is repeated in order for the patient to process all aspects of the memory. This form of therapy will gradually lead to less emotional charge of the memory, thereby making it easier to think back to the original event.

EMDR is a short form of therapy. How many sessions are needed to achieve a desired effect depends. Research has shown that about 90% of people no longer have PTSD after three EMDR sessions of 90 minutes. EMDR is also an effective treatment method for children over the age of 6 years old.