EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

EMDR is proven to be an effective treatment method for processing negative experiences. Initially, EMDR was used to process severe, singular traumatic events. Nowadays however, there is growing evidence that it is also effective for treating multiple trauma, anxiety and chronic pain. EMDR can also be used as part of a treatment for overcoming low self-esteem.

EMDR is a short-term treatment. The therapist will ask you to think back to the disturbing event, including the associated pictures, thoughts and feelings. Then, the therapist will ask you to think of the event again, this time while offering a distracting stimulus. Typically, this is the therapist’s hand. The therapist will ask you to focus on his or her hand as it moves back and forth across your field of vision. After each set of movements there is a pause during which the therapist will ask you what comes up. The EMDR procedure typically brings about a stream of thoughts and images, but sometimes feelings and physical sensations too. You will often notice a change in these during the course of the process. After each set of eye movements you are asked to focus on the most noticeable change, after which a new set of movements follows. The sets of eye movements will gradually lead to a reduction in the strength and emotional charge of the memory, meaning that it will become less upsetting to think back to the original event (desensitization). In many cases the images of the memories themselves change and become fuzzier or smaller. It could also happen that other, less unpleasant aspects of the memory emerge. Another possibility is that new thoughts or insights spontaneously occur, which give a different, less-threatening, meaning to the event. These effects contribute to integrating the traumatic experience into your life story.

» Website: www.emdr.nl