Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapeutic tool that is used by a trained psychotherapist to help with issues that seem "stuck" and aren't healing with traditional talk-therapy. EMDR is used to first help a client locate a disturbing memory that is not stored effectively in the brain, and therefore the feeling that accompanies that memory is easily triggered in their current life. Sometimes clients are aware of disturbing events from their past that they know affect them, and other times the disturbing events seem small and insignificant to the clients, and they are unaware of the impact they have had in how they feel about themselves. Together we will discover what these memories are and how they are affecting them today. Then we use eye movements (or other similar techniques) to help "jump start" the client's brain to more fully process that memory; it seems to activate the brain in a similar way as REM sleep. There is much less talking than traditional therapy, because it is the client's own brain that is doing the healing! The result is that clients can still remember what they need of the memory, but they release the emotional response and the negative belief about themselves that goes with it. Because these negative aspects have been released, clients are more peaceful and better able to function in their current day-to-day life.
EMDR is widely researched and determined to be effective with PTSD, anxiety, depression, and self-esteem issues.
Click here to see a brief video explanation of EMDR.