Bilateral Stimulation Desensitization and Reprocessing is a brain-change therapy that alternates non-invasive stimulation to the right and left hemispheres of the brain, creating new and more adaptive neural pathways. These new pathways replace old pathways in the brain and become the route for accessing positive emotions, memories, and beliefs. Following Bilateral Stimulation, negative emotions, memories and beliefs are less likely to be triggered and dominate the mental experience of the individual.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR, a form of Bilateral Stimulation, is a BRAIN CHANGE therapy that alternates non-invasive stimulation to the right and left hemispheres of the brain, creating new and more adaptive neural pathways. These new pathways replace old pathways in the brain and become the route for accessing positive emotions, memories, and beliefs. Following Bilateral Stimulation, negative emotions, memories and beliefs are less likely to be triggered and dominate the mental experience of the individual.
The following description of EMDR is borrowed from Linda Curran’s training materials.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), is a late-stage, trauma resolution method. EMDR is a form of Bilateral Stimulation. During EMDR, the Traumatic Memory Network is activated and non-invasive alternating stimulation of the brain’s right and left hemispheres is introduced.
Developed in the late 1980’s, EMDR currently has more scientific research as a treatment for trauma than any other non-pharmaceutical intervention. Based on empirical evidence as well as thousands of client and clinician testimonials, EMDR has proven an efficacious and rapid method of reprocessing traumatic material.
In 2004 the American Psychiatric Association determined that EMDR is an effective treatment of trauma. And, in 2010 the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense placed EMDR in the “A” category as “strongly recommended” for the treatment of trauma. In addition, no less than 24 randomized controlled (and 12 nonrandomized) studies have been conducted on EMDR demonstrating its effectiveness in the treatment of trauma.
EMDR appears to assist in the processing of traumatic information, resulting in enhanced integration – and a more adaptive perspective of the traumatic material.
Theoretically, Alternating Bilateral Stimulation (EMDR) accomplishes three therapeutic objectives:
EMDR seems to lift the veil that keeps the conscious and unconscious parts of our minds separate from each other. This process enables our conscious mind to receive and benefit from the wisdom housed in our unconscious.
EMDR seems to greatly improve the communication between the rational parts of our brain (the Neo-Cortex), and the emotional parts of our brain (the Limbic System). New neural networks that facilitate communication between these two parts of the brain are formed, and as a result new information, awareness, and wisdom travel back and forth to each other. This new information, awareness, and wisdom can serve to soften the memory, affect, and emotional charge associated with old traumatic events that remain housed in our limbic system.
EMDR facilitates the movement of energy throughout our bodies. Our bodies house the memories, feelings, and sensations associated with old traumatic events that were lived through. When we pay close attention to the movement of energy in our bodies, it begins to shift, and the feelings and sensations associated with it lose their emotional charge.
In short, EMDR is about convincing the mind and body that the traumatic event is, indeed over. EMDR helps to put the past in the past, where it belongs, instead of staying stuck in it (feeling like it is happened all over again in the present-with the same thoughts, emotions and body sensations- that accompanied the event in the past).
EMDR is not dangerous. However, any type of trauma work that deliberately activates a traumatic memory network requires that both client and clinician are adequately prepared to tolerate the effects of that activation.
USES FOR BILATERAL STIMULATION
Reprocessing and resolving traumatic material
Installation of New Beliefs
ADHD and focus support