EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that helps people to heal from disturbing life experiences that cause symptoms and distress.
EMDR therapy is effective in tapping into the mind's natural tendency to heal from psychological trauma.
The brain's information processing system naturally moves towards mental health, except when the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event.
This can cause intense suffering. EMDR is a research based approach which accesses the brain's neural networks to change the way trauma is stored.
EMDR can change the way a person's brain holds emotionally charged past experiences which, unhealed, can keep people from living an emotionally healthy life.
EMDR replicates the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep by alternating between sets of eye movements and brief reports about what the client notices. During sleep, we process the day's events while we dream.
Traumatic events, however, are too much for the mind to work through during normal REM sleep.
EMDR takes advantage of the brain's ability to constantly learn and while the client is awake and aware, update memory network systems.
Some clients are bothered by eye movements and other bilateral stimulation, such as the therapist alternately tapping their knees, can be used instead.
As an EMDR practitioner, Dr. Lubell integrates this powerful therapy into her vast knowledge of other therapeutic methods.
She tailors treatment to help patients heal from childhood traumas such as sexual, emotional or physical abuse, as well as recent events, such as a car accident or violent crime.
While in EMDR it is not always necessary to tell the therapist every detail of the trauma, many patients find it helpful to alternate EMDR sessions and talk therapy sessions.
Most often, EMDR will be employed along with other treatment approaches to help clients reach their goals.
EMDR and trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy are the only psychotherapies recommended by the World Health Organization for the treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.
EMDR was determined to be an effective treatment for trauma by the American Psychiatric Association.
EMDR was given the highest level of recommendation as a trauma-focused therapy with the strongest evidence from clinical trials by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense in 2017.
One of the most evidence based treatments, there are 36 randomized controlled studies of EMDR therapy for the treatment of trauma.