A Well-Researched Method for Treating Trauma, Anxiety, & Depression
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and panic disorders.
This guided protocol helps the brain heal and leads patients to a more peaceful life.
How does EMDR work?
When something traumatic happens, it triggers the most primitive part of the brain known as the amygdala where the fight, flight, or freeze response is stored. This is the survival mechanism that perceives danger. The amygdala holds onto that bad memory and the entire sensory experience associated with it, and flares up when something ignites it. That’s why someone who has faced gunfire may feel stressed when they hear fireworks. The short blasts of noise that come from fireworks prompt the mind and body to flashback to the traumatic moment associated with that same experience.
During EMDR treatment, clients reprocess the memories in small chunks and move them to a part of the brain that manages with logic. The protocol guides clients to move their eyes as if they are in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. This exercise allows them to access the memory and relocate it to the prefrontal cortex which is the more sophisticated part of the brain where reasoning and problem solving occur. Once this part of the brain opens to that traumatic memory, the symptoms that come with it no longer appear. People still have the memory, but they no longer have the fight, flight, or freeze response. Instead, they feel seen, understood, and transformed.
While other forms of therapy can take years, EMDR is a short-term program for people with the worst symptoms. Clients can see dramatic improvements in just a few sessions.
Who benefits from EMDR?
Everyone. Whether you’ve suffered from an abusive relationship, a traumatic injury, or a bump in the road, EMDR therapy can help.
“I’ve treated people with memories that had plagued them for decades, their whole lives. After one to three sessions using EMDR, it didn’t bother them at all. This treatment works more deeply than any other approach,” Felice said.
New data shows it’s also effective in treating depression, anxiety, migraines, chronic headaches, and other physical symptoms. It works for anyone who has experienced a negative life event or seeks to overcome a challenge.
What does EMDR do?
Provides relief from:
- Emotional distress
- Somatic symptoms
- Anxiety & depression
- Dysfunctional stress reactions
- Positive changes in thinking
- Learning & insight
- Improved daily function
- Increased focus
- Better relationships
Who endorses EMDR?
- World Health Organization
- American Psychiatric Association
- International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs/Dept. of Defense
- The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Understand EMDR Therapy
Watch this video and learn how EMDR therapy works, what it's like, and how widely it's recognized as a treatment for any type of trauma.
(Video courtesy of EMDR International Association.)