E M D R “Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing”
E.M.D.R. is a psychotherapeutic method developed by Francine Shapiro that is mainly used in the treatment of psychological traumas. Francine Shapiro, PhD in psychology at MRI in Palo Alto and behavioral therapist, discovers E.M.D.R. at the end of the 80s, quite fortuitously: one day, while walking in a park when she was very preoccupied, she sat down and her eyes followed the treetops that were moving from left to right. When she resumed her walk, she realized that her problems seemed much less important. Something had happened in connection with the movement of her eyes.
She decided to replicate the experience with a group of volunteers first and then with veterans from Vietnam.
As the results seemed to confirm her personal experience, she continued her research and made her the subject of her doctoral dissertation.
In less than 10 years, EMDR has become one of the most effective trauma treatments. She is recognized by The American Psychologist Association (1998). the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (2000) and the Department of Health in England (2001). In July 2002, Francine Shapiro receives the Sigmund Freud Prize, awarded by the World Congress of Psychotherapy.
EMDR is for anyone (child and adult) who has been traumatized during his or her life. It is a trauma therapy, used for those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD is a disorder that is characterized by the failure to recover after being involved or witnessing a terrifying event. Symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, depression.
We can distinguish 2 types of traumas:
- Unique Traumas (or simple traumas): car accidents, natural disasters, assault, rape, drowning, etc.
In these cases, the trauma resolution is relatively fast (6-8 sessions)
- Repetitive traumas (complex traumas), which took place in childhood : Other, less dramatic life experiences can cause even more symptoms of PTSD than major traumas. Many of these disturbing life experiences take place throughout childhood and can include hurtful experiences with parents or peers. The negative impact on the person’s sense of self takes place since, just as with diagnosed PTSD, “unprocessed memories” are running the show. EMDR is efficient in those cases too. In the case of these traumas, EMDR work is longer and represents a tool in a broader psychotherapeutic approach, alternating with other techniques.
- EMDR is also very efficient for complex and traumatic mourning.
In all cases, the results remain constant and durable over time.
Studies show that 84-90% of people no longer show symptoms after treatment with E.M.D.R.
Contraindications: being pregnant / being cardiac / being epileptic
An EMDR session lasts 45 to 90 minutes. (shorter with a child). During this time, the patient may experience intense emotions, but at the end of the session, he or she will normally experience a marked improvement in the memory-related disturbance and a noticeable relief.