Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a powerful method of psychotherapy. To date, EMDR has helped an estimated two million people of all ages relieve many types of psychological distress.
In 1987, psychologist, Dr. Francine Shapiro made the chance observation that eye movements can reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts, under certain conditions. Dr. Shapiro studied this effect scientifically, and in a 1989 issue of the Journal of Traumatic Stress, she reported success using EMDR to treat victims of trauma. Since then, EMDR has developed and evolved through the contributions of therapists and researchers all over the world. Today, EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches.
Approximately 20 controlled studies have investigated the effects of EMDR. These studies have consistently found that EMDR effectively decreases/eliminates the symptoms of post traumatic stress for the majority of clients. Clients often report improvement in other associated symptoms such as anxiety. The current treatment guidelines of the American Psychiatric Association and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies designate EMDR as an effective treatment for post traumatic stress. EMDR was also found effective by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense, the United Kingdom Department of Health, the Israeli National Council for Mental Health, and many other international health and governmental agencies. Research has also shown that EMDR can be an efficient and rapid treatment. For further references, a bibliography of research may be foundthrough EMDR International Association’s website, www.emdria.org
Scientific research has established EMDR as effective for post traumatic stress. However clinicians also have reported success using EMDR as treatment of the following conditions:
* personality disorders * eating disorders
* panic attacks * performance anxiety
* complicated grief * stress reduction
* dissociative disorders * addictions
* disturbing memories * sexual and/or physical abuse
* phobias * body dysmorphic disorders
* pain disorders