Removing Trauma Disturbances in the Nervous System and Assisting Completion of Negative Memories
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Re-processing (Shapiro) assists persons who have suffered trauma to return to the present by allowing past distrubances to become neutral. The re-processing process appears to complete unfinished memories, images, thoughts, emotions, and body sensations. Trauma can be anything from a disturbing event suffered in childhood to full scale PTSD Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. When memories are re-processed there tends to be a generalizing effect to other associated memories thereby removing unknown links to negative self-concept and other associations. Persons are able to link and access previously unaccessible positive concepts of self and broaden the scope of memories to include improved perspective and present time.
Installing Resources - Preparing for EMDR
Preparation for EMDR work includes preparing a trauma/history of events and timelines, as well as installing resources the client can use to manage anxiety either when re-processing the memories or in daily life when distress arises. Resources such as installing 'a Calm Place' can also assist the client to prepare and tolerate emotions that briefly surface during the re-processing and desensitizing phases. Not only memories can be re-processed. Behaviors, dreams, flashbacks, symptoms, emotions, or body sensations can all be a starting point to access memory networks involved.
The trauma history assists in listing, prioritizing, and grouping memories within the same memory network. Grouping memories can accelerate the re-processing to more than one memory and provide a generalized healing benefit across memories.
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"Anna is an excellent therapist. With her help and guidance in using EMDR I was able to regain focus, confidence in myself and peace. I highly recommend her. I have done myriads of therapy in my life and none has proven more effective than my journey with Anna. I feel I can live my life fully now and my past that was pulling me down all these years is finally put to rest. I am forever grateful to Anna." January 2015
EMDRIA Definition of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing)
Date of adaptation 5/26/03, 10/18/09, 06/23/11, 12/07/11, 2/25/12
Aim of EMDR
in the broadest sense, EMDR is an integrative psychotherapy approach intended to treat psychological disorders, to alleviate human suffering and to assist individuals to fulfill their potential for development, while minimizing risks of harm in its application. For the client, EMDR treatment aims to achieve comprehensive treatment safety, effectively and efficiently, while maintaining client stability.
through EMDR, resolution of traumatic and disturbing adverse life experiences is accomplished with a unique standardized set of procedures and clinical protocols which incorporates dual focus of attention and alternating bilateral visual, auditory and/or tactile stimulation. This process activates the components of the memory of disturbing life events and facilitates the resumption of adaptive information processing and integration. The following are some of the AIP tenets which guide the application of EMDR, i.e. planning treatment and achieving outcomes.
Adverse life experiences can generate effects similar to those of traumatic events recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (APA, 2000) for the diagnosis of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and trigger or exacerbate a wide range of mental, emotional, somatic, and behavioral disorders. Under optimal conditions, new experiences tend to be assimilated by an information processing system that facilitates their linkage with already existing memory networks associated with similarly categorized experiences. The linkage of these memory networks tends to create a knowledge base regarding such phenomena as perceptions, attitudes, emotions, sensations, and action tendencies.
Traumatic events and/or disturbing adverse life experiences can be encoded maladaptively in memory resulting in inadequate or impaired linkage with memory networks containing more adaptive information. Pathology is thought to result when adaptive information processing is impaired by these experiences which are inadequately processed. Information is maladaptively encoded and linked dysfunctionally within emotional, cognitive, somatosensory, and temporal systems. Memories thereby become susceptible to dysfunctional recall with respect to time, place, and content and may be experienced in fragmented form. Accordingly, new information, positive experiences and affects are unable to functionally connect with the disturbing memory. This impairment in linkage and the resultant inadequate integration contribute to a continuation of symptoms.