EMDR – A Revolutionary Method in the Prevention and Treatment of Psychological Problems

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Psychotherapy helps a person deal with emotional distress symptoms that are the result of disturbing adverse experiences or situations.

EMDR therapy alleviates the discomfort associated with difficult memories of the past, the difficulties of the present, and the future’s worries. Through EMDR Therapy, emotional discomfort, problematic beliefs about ourselves, others, and the world change as the person’s distress reduces.

The Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model informs EMDR Therapy.

Every human being has a natural self-healing system in our brain that processes information from our experiences. When difficult experiences occur, they can be stored in the brain with various images, sensory elements, beliefs, emotions and bodily sensations. AIP believes that high stress and adverse or traumatic experiences are stored separately in the mind creating pathogenic memories that contribute to unpleasant symptoms. Intervention with EMDR therapy allows reprocessing of the complicated feelings associated with the past, present and future so that the person feels relieved and sees their life more positively and deals with it with empowerment.

The efficacy of EMDR Therapy

Dozens of controlled trials (RCTs) for adults and children support EMDR Therapy. There are also robust studies that examine the neurobiology of this therapy. It is now proven and accepted that clinicians who treat people with EMDR Therapy help clients to activate the natural healing ability that each one of us has.

Enough research has been done on EMDR therapy that it is now recognized as an effective form of treatment for psychological distress, trauma, and other adverse experiences by many organizations such as:

  • The Clinical Division of the American Psychological Association (1998)
  • The American Psychiatric Association (2004),
  • The National Council for Mental Health, Israel (2002)
  • Dutch National Steering Committee Guidelines Mental Health Care (2003)
  • Stockholm: Medical Program Committee/ Stockholm City Council, Sweden, (2003)
  • CREST, The Clinical Resource Efficiency Support Team of Northern Ireland Department of Health (2003)
  • ISERM, French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, (2004)
  • UK -National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (2005). Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): The management of adults and children in primary and secondary care. London: National Institute for Clinical Excellence. Trauma-focused CBT and EMDR were stated to be empirically supported treatments for choice for adult PTSD
  • California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (2010)
  • US Department of Veterans Affairs & Department of Defense (2010)
  • Practice Guidelines of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies New York: Guilford Press (2009)
  • USA- SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (2011)
  • World Health Organization (2013). Guidelines for the management of conditions that are specifically related to stress. Geneva, WHO. Trauma-focused CBT and EMDR are the only psychotherapies recommended for children, adolescents, and adults with PTSD.

Given the global recognition as an effective treatment for psychological distress and trauma, you can easily understand how EMDR therapy would effectively manage “everyday” difficult experiences and memories involved in low self-esteem and feelings of helplessness, and other innumerable problems. More than 100,000 clinicians worldwide use this treatment, and millions of people have been treated successfully in recent decades.