Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapeutic approach for treating trauma and addiction that are caused by disturbing life experiences, ranging from traumatic events such as combat stress, assaults, natural disaster to painful childhood events (abuse, neglect). It is an empirically validated clinical treatment that has helped promote the mind’s ability to access, desensitize and resolve memories and feelings that have been “stored away” or avoided because of emotional discomfort associated with upsetting life events.
The EMDR institute states: “The Department of Defense/Department of Veteran Affairs Practice Guidelines has placed EMDR in the highest category recommended for all trauma populations at all times”
Bessel Van der Kolk’s recent arguments for “complex” PTSD is foundational for looking at excessive behaviors as a part of traumatic reactivity and alterations in the brain (Van der Kolk, 2001). Most recently, the American Psychiatric Association Practice Guidelines (2004) has placed EMDR in the category of the “highest level of effectiveness for treatment of trauma”.
For further information please visit the EMDR Institute.