EMDR therapy is one of two proven (evidence based) methods for treating post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recommended by the World Health Organisation. It is recommended by many other health authorities such as Veterans Affairs (Australia,USA), The Australian Psychological Society, The American Psychological Association, and The American Psychiatric Association.
Developed in 1987, there are now over 20 gold standard random control trials demonstrating the efficacy of EMDR. Additional studies demonstrated the effectiveness of EMDR in the treatment of anxiety, phobias, depression, grief, addictions and compulsions, pain, chronic illness and somatic disorders, sexual dysfunction and body dysmorphia.
In using EMDR therapy for PTSD, trauma memories are re-activated and changed (rewired), resulting in decreased vividness and emotional charge associated with painful memories. Flashbacks, hypervigilance (being on red alert all the time) and avoidance of trauma triggers become things of the past. You become free from the grip of the traumas and earlier adverse events. Your sense of yourself and your resourcefulness improves.
After EMDR, many trauma survivors experience shifts such as:
- From “I’m helpless/powerless” to “I can stand up for myself”
- From “It was my fault” to “I did the best I could”
- From “I am worthless” to “I am worthwhile”
- From “I’m unlovable” to “I am lovable”
- From “I cannot trust anyone” to “I can choose whom to trust”
- From “I’m never safe” to “It’s over. I’m safe now”
These are significant changes which go beyond simple thoughts. A new positive sense of self is felt in your mind and body. It does not need to be rationalised. It is felt as true.
Research has found that EMDR is also effective for rewiring other conditions besides PTSD. My advanced EMDR training in EMDR applications includes protocols for resource installation, and treating anxiety, phobias, grief, addictions, compulsions, pain, chronic illness, developmental trauma and complex trauma.
Recent coverage on the ABC’s 7.30 report (Australia, 20 Nov 2015, 7 minute video)
Brief coverage on NBC (USA, 6 Nov 2014, 3.34 min video)
For more technical information on EMDR therapy and longer video presentations of EMDR, please visit the association for EMDR therapists: www.emdraa.org or read Francine Shapiro’s book Getting Past your Past to see the wide range of EMDR transformations possible.