EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) helps people resolve traumatic memories and current emotional difficulties. EMDR can be used to facilitate therapy when a patient is unable to free him or her self from painful memories, is stuck in the progress of the treatment, is having intrusive thoughts or images, recurrent nightmares, and so on.
It is an integrative psychotherapy approach that permits desensitization and reprocessing of traumatic memories and present disturbing experiences so there is little or no distress and with positive, instead of negative, beliefs about the self. This can sometimes occur rapidly and can have long-lasting effects.
Research results show the effectiveness of this method particularly with PTSD symptoms. The recent American Psychiatric Association Practice Guidelines for treatment of patients with Acute Stress Disorder and PTSD includes EMDR, as well as CBT, as effective treatment. In fact, the UK's National Institute for Clinical Excellence now requires clinics that provide PTSD services to offer clients both trauma focused CBT and EMDR. The American Psychology Association has approved EMDR for treating civilian trauma.
Seasoned clinicians find this highly focused psychotherapeutic method can be incorporated within the context of individual psychotherapy and into a range of therapeutic approaches including models of time-limited therapy. Recently trained clinicians, and mental health professionals near the conclusion of their training, experience ease in integrating the EMDR approach into their other learning.
This EMDR course conforms with established criteria and has been fully approved by the EMDR International Association.
Sandra E. Kaplan, LCSW, Clinical Professor, State University of New York Upstate Medical University at Syracuse, College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine