EMDR is a therapy that can relieve distress linked to traumatic memories.
Scientific studies show that EMDR is an effective way to treat psychological distress. Both NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) and WHO (World Health Organization) recommend EMDR therapy to treat PTSD.
EMDR can help relieve the fear, shame, loss of control, and other emotions that result from trauma. Your traumatic memories become integrated with a positive sense of self, so they no longer cause you distress. During EMDR therapy, you’ll revisit traumatic memories while your conscious mind is occupied with bilateral stimulation—a visual, auditory, or tactile stimulus that crosses the body in a rhythmic left-to-right pattern.
Eye movements are often the type of bilateral stimulation used in EMDR therapy, but your therapist may also use hand tapping or audio stimulation. Recalling traumatic events while focusing on your eye movements changes the way your brain processes these experiences, helping to integrate them into more adaptive memories. These adaptive memories allow us to learn and evolve.