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Posted By Clifton Fuller on 04/17/2020

EMDR (What is it? How does it work?)

EMDR (What is it? How does it work?)

EMDR is an extremely powerful tool for clients who've experienced (or are experiencing) trauma, low self-esteem, anger, abuse, pain, guilt, PTSD, anxiety, phobias & fears.

What is EMDR?
EMDR is a revolutionary therapy, which has helped millions release painful experiences, memories, or beliefs.  By utilizing the brain’s natural healing processes, EMDR therapy quickly heals many emotional problems and conditions which have been difficult and time consuming to treat in the past.  It does not involve a trance-state (such as hypnotherapy), and allows clients to 'connect the dots' as to causes of emotions their feeling, release those emotions and move forward.

What does 'EMDR' mean?
EMDR is an acronym for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, which was discovered and patented by Francine Shapiro in 1989. While walking through the park, Dr. Shapiro noted a healing effect from moving her eyes back and forth while simultaneously recalling a disturbing event.  Since that time, over 32,000 therapists have trained in this highly effective treatment and it has become the chosen treatment for persons suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder.    

How long does it take?
Sometimes only one 2hr-session of EMDR is able to provide immediate relief from emotional distress.  However, the length treatment depends on multiple factors.  

How does it work?
In spite of medical advances, some mechanisms of the brain remain a mystery.  However, several theories have emerged to explain the amazing outcomes of EMDR treatment.   During EMDR, bilateral stimulation (created by eye movements or alternating tapping on the hands) activates the opposite sides of the brain allowing the brain to release emotional experiences that are "trapped" in the nervous system. 

This type of stimulation resembles REM sleep as our eyes move from one side to the other.  It is during REM sleep that the brain naturally sorts out our experiences from the day, discarding useless information and transferring memories to the appropriate part of the memory.  However, sometimes extremely negative experiences can get “trapped” or “frozen” in the brain, unable to resolve naturally, resulting in nightmares, depression, anger, anxiety, or emotional disturbance.

What does EMDR do?
EMDR assists to unlock these painful memories or beliefs as the eye movement or tapping stimulates the two hemispheres of the brain to communicate with each other, arriving at new conclusions, so that the original trauma no longer contains the negative emotional charge originally associated with it!    

Who benefits from EMDR?
EMDR has been utilized primarily in the treatment of trauma experiences such as physical or sexual abuse, car accidents, and victims of crime, natural disasters, and severe loss or grief or war veterans.  However, positive results have also been observed with panic and anxiety disorders, sexual dysfunction, chemical dependency, peak performance and chronic pain. Extensive research has shown EMDR as the most effective and rapid method for healing PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).   In addition, EMDR can result in increased self-esteem, decreased feelings of depression, and a renewed spirituality.  EMDR has been utilized all over the world and proven effective with adults, children, and adolescents. 

Provided by Clifton Fuller, LCSW, LPC, LMFT
(Certified as Level I and Level II EMDR Therapist) 

Offices: 15303 Huebner Rd, #10, San Antonio, Tx 78248 210-404-9001
Website: www.CliftonFuller.con
Copyright 2002. May be reproduced for individual use and information or without revision or editing for mental heath use. 

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