EMDR- What is it?

EMDR As a Tool for Rapid Healing of PTSD and other trauma

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a very, effective tool used for all types of trauma release work, including PTSD, and single incident events such as violence, surgeries and natural disasters.  EMDR can also be effective in treating anxiety disorders, including panic attacks and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder.)


EMDR Research has shown that people treated with EMDR can heal trauma relatively quickly using the brain and body’s natural tendency to heal itself.  The EMDR protocols assist this natural healing tendency inherent in the brain/body systems.  Three studies showed that participants were free of PTSD (Post traumatic stress Disorder) symptoms after only 3-7 sessions using EMDR.  Other studies showed that EMDR was superior to other treatments, such as biofeedback and relaxation exercises, or cognitive behavioral or other therapies.

The EMDR Protocol

The EMDR protocol involves having the client bring up distressing thoughts, images, body sensations and memories while receiving bio-lateral sensory stimulation from the therapist including side-to-side eye movements.  This assists in the processing and clearing of blocked material that has been unable to release, perhaps for many years. The result takes place by activating the client’s own inner healing process.

EMDR Books and Information

Francine Shapiro, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, l995.  See also EMDR Institute, EMDR International Association, and EMDR-Humanitarian Assistance Programs

The Goal of EMDR

The goal of EMDR therapy is to reduce or eliminate symptoms resulting in a return to full functionality

 EMDR and Brainspotting

Brainspotting was developed by David Grand, PhD, an EMDR trainer and therapist.  Dr. Grand noticed while doing side-to side stimulation across the visual field, that he got better and deeper results by finding a point or points in the visual field where the client was most activated, and other points that were calming or soothing He noticed that by holding on that point, or” brainspot “the material released more quickly, gently and effectively than with EMDR.

See my page on Brainspotting on this website. Also read David Grand, Brainspotting, The Revolutionary New therapy for Rapid and Effective Change, 2013.  I use elements of both EMDR and Brainspotting in work, along with other treatment modalities.