EMDR is a specialized technique that's primarily used to cope with traumatic events. Our brains have a natural inclination to integrate experience healthfully. Unfortunately, some experiences overwhelm our brain's abilities to do so. In the event that an experience is too much for us to integrate fully, healthfully and move on, say for example, a social humiliation or a traumatic injury, our brains kind of get stuck. That stuck-ness can lead us make unhealthful decisions and lead unhealthful lives until such time as the brain is able to integrate the experience in a healthful manner. This kind of stuck-ness is often associated with PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, but the process often occurs with all of us on a less pronounced scale.
EMDR enables us to integrate experience healthfully, when we weren't able to do it on our own. For reasons that are not completely understood by researchers, the bi-lateral stimulation that's associated with EMDR gives the brain the space it needs to integrate experience healthfully, such that these old traumas are not sticking around, messing up our current lives.
EMDR is not a magic bullet. Magic bullets don't require a good shot; they just hit the target on their own. EMDR requires a trained, competent professional to implement the procedure. Some folks suffer under the misinformation that you just go in, get a session or two of EMDR, and you're done. EMDR is amazingly effective at relieving us of those old traumas that haunt our lives, but the technique requires thoughtful implementation, by a trained clinician. Fortunately, I have received excellent training in EMDR in an accredited training program. In combination with the widely-respected training I received at the University of Maryland MFT program, I am able to use EMDR effectively to improve the lives and functioning of my clients.
Copyright 2013. Thane Scott Stielow, LCMFT. All rights reserved.