EMDR | An Introduction

Posted on

EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a type of therapy that can help people who have experienced trauma. EMDR is a relatively new therapy, so there is still much to learn about how it works. Here's what you need to know about EMDR, who it can help, and how EMDR certification courses can help you incorporate the treatment method into your practice.

What Is EMDR?

EMDR was developed in the 1980s by Francine Shapiro. Shapiro noticed that when she moved her eyes back and forth quickly, she felt relief from her negative thoughts and emotions. She then began to wonder if this movement could be a helpful tool for other people who were struggling with trauma.

EMDR is now considered an evidence-based treatment for trauma, meaning there have been multiple studies conducted on EMDR and its effectiveness, and the results of these studies have been overwhelmingly positive. EMDR has been shown to be an effective treatment for PTSD, complex PTSD (or childhood trauma), anxiety, depression, and more.

How Does EMDR Work?

The exact mechanism by which EMDR works is still not fully understood. However, experts know that EMDR helps people process their trauma in a different way than traditional talk therapy does. When people experience trauma, their brains often get stuck in "fight-or-flight" mode. In other words, they are constantly on alert for danger, and they may relive their trauma over and over again in their minds.

EMDR seems to help the brain process trauma in a different way so that people can begin to heal from their experiences. The Mayo Clinic states that, during EMDR sessions, therapists use a combination of "exposure therapy ... [and] a series of guided eye movements that help you process traumatic memories and change how you react to them." These eye movements seem to help the brain process memories so that they are no longer distressing.

Who Does EMDR Help?

EMDR can be an incredibly helpful treatment for people who have experienced trauma. This includes things like car accidents, natural disasters, sexual assault, military combat, childhood abuse, and more. Patients who have experienced a traumatic event may benefit from EMDR therapy.

What Are the Benefits of EMDR Certification Courses?

If you are a mental health professional, you may be interested in taking an EMDR training course. There are many benefits to EMDR certification classes, including:

  • The opportunity to practice the technique so you can feel confident in offering EMDR sessions
  • A new and effective treatment for clients who have experienced trauma
  • Specialization in this area of therapy and building up your expertise

If you are looking for an opportunity to expand your skillset as a therapist, becoming EMDR certification courses is a great place to start.

EMDR is an effective treatment for many types of trauma, and taking an EMDR certification course can help you gain the skills you need to provide this type of therapy and help more clients.