EMDR Therapy

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy developed by Francine Shapiro which uses eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation to purportedly assist clients in processing distressing memories and beliefs. It is commonly used for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The theory behind the treatment assumes that when a traumatic or distressing experience occurs, it may overwhelm normal coping mechanisms, with the memory and associated stimuli being inadequately processed and stored in an isolated memory network. Proponents hypothesize that the processes involved in treatment, particularly the use of bilateral stimulation, "facilitates the accessing and processing of traumatic memories and other adverse life experience to bring these to an adaptive resolution."[3] The therapy uses an eight-phase approach that includes having the patient recall distressing images while receiving one of several types of bilateral sensory input, such as side-to-side eye movements or hand tapping.[4] EMDR is most commonly used to treat adults with PTSD, but it is also used to treat trauma and PTSD in children and adolescents. Its efficacy is still debated due to concerns over the quality of evidence, contradictory findings, significant rates of researcher bias, and dropout rates in studies.

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