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EMDR is an acronym for:
EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITIZATION AND REPROCESSING

 SO, WHAT IS EMDR?

EMDR is a psychotherapeutic approach developed by Francine Shapiro. It is one of the most widely investigated treatments for PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). It is a time-efficient, comprehensive methodology for the treatment of the disturbing experiences that underlie many pathologies. It is an integrated model that incorporates aspects of psychodynamic, experiential, behavioral, cognitive, body-based, and systems therapies. It uses an eight phase treatment that includes the use of eye movements or other left-right stimulations. EMDR helps trauma survivors reprocess disturbing thoughts and memories, providing profound and stable treatment effects in a short period of time. It is believed there is a link to the effects of EMDR to REM sleep, dual attention, and bihemispheric involvement. (Francine Shapiro, 2001) 

"Disturbing events can be stored in the brain in an isolated memory network. This prevents learning from taking place. The old material just keeps getting triggered over and over again. In another part of your brain, in a separate network, is most of the information you needed to resolve it. It's just prevented from linking up to the old stuff. Once EMDR is started, the networks can line up. New information can come to mind and resolve the old problems." (Shapiro, 2001) 

EMDR causes a "shift" because it activates the information processing system so the guilt and fear of the "stuck" perspective can be progressively transmuted into the adult perspective of appropriate responsibility, safety, and confidence in one's ability to make choices. Perceptions, such as one's lack of control, that were valid in childhood are no longer true for the adult in the present. 

EMDR has been used extensively and effectively with children. There are parallels between negative childhood experiences and that of a trauma victim. In both, there are feelings of self-blame and inadequacy and a lack of control, safety, or choices.
 

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