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EMDR - Christine C. Cantrell, PhD, LLC
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a relatively new therapeutic technique originally used to resolve emotional responses to trauma. The method utilizes rapid alternating eye movements similar to those which accompany dream sleep. The movements of dream sleep (REM or “rapid eye movement” sleep) seem to enable the brain to process and store recent events. Ordinarily this processing occurs regularly with the events of the day. However, when a trauma occurs, it seems to get locked in the nervous system with the original picture, sounds, thoughts and feelings. The traumatic event does not go through the normal processing and storage. The eye movements in EMDR may unlock the nervous system and allow the brain to resolve the experience. Definitions Eye Movement Movement of the eyes in a pattern similar to the involuntary motion during REM or the fourth stage of sleep, the stage in which dreaming occurs. It is believed that the movement is related to the brain activity involved with information processing and the mechanisms which coordinate cognitive and emotional learning. Alternatives to eye movement, such as auditory signals or tapping of the hands are also used. Desensitization A process of changing an…