This method is considered one of the greatest discoveries in the history of psychology. In the mid 90's, when Francine Shapiro discovered it, it was
not quite understood why it was so effective in "unwinding" the traumatic memory, but with recent neuroscientific research into the purpose of
sleeping and dreaming, a plausible theoretical framework has emerged for why it works.
EMDR, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, has spawned many offshoots since it's introduction in the mid 90s. Nowadays, there are
movement and eye movement therapies targeting specific types of maladies: attachment focused EMDR, brain-spotting, shock-trauma EMDR. Each of these
has proven as or more effective in treating post traumatic stress than anti-depressants and cognitive behavioral therapy. But why does it work, you
When we sleep, our bodies go through something called a sleep cycle.
Recent neuroscientific research into REM sleep has strengthened the theory that sleep, particularly REM sleep, helps the brain to consolidate the days
memories through pruning and synthesizing experiences. In particular, whats defused is the emotional content associated with a memory. Everyone knows
the adage "let me sleep on it". Which basically means, sleep will give me a more clear and less emotionally distractive perspective of what right now
seems too difficult to make a decision about.
EMDR then is manually doing what the brain does through sleeping: it processes the emotional contents associated with a particular memory.
Go ahead, try it to yourself right now.
1) identify a particularly disturbing memory
2) hold the content while you're thinking about it
3) focus on two points to the right and left in your visual viscinity. Look right, and then left. Back and forth. 30 seconds usually suffices,
although a minute is generally done.
How do you feel?
This is all hypothetical right now, but most people who try out this technique report feeling an "unwinding" in how they feel.
19-1-2014 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)