Developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro in the 80's, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a type of therapy that integrates elements of cognitive-behavioural, experiential, body-centred, mindfullness-based, interpersonal and insight-oriented therapies. EMDR is a rigorously researched, evidence-based approach that has been proven to be effective in helping people find relief from the effects of trauma.
EMDR focuses on the past, present and future; it assists people in processing painful past experiences so that those memories take their proper place in history, in processing present day distress, and in developing or strengthening resources for the future. It has 8 phases of treatment, which you can read about in detail at the EMDR International Association's website, or feel free to contact me to discuss this further. Usually, the first couple of sessions are focused on gathering history, treatment planning, discussing the therapy model, and determining if EMDR is appropriate for you at this time. The Recent Traumatic Episode Protocol (R-TEP) is an early EMDR intervention that can help to alleviate distress in the months following a more recent traumatic event.
While research has shown its effectiveness with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), clinicians have reported success in using EMDR to help people with other issues, as well, such as performance anxiety, panic attacks, eating disorders, phobias, physical and sexual abuse, and complicated grief (EMDR International Association Pamphlet, 2014).
- EMDR has been recognized as an effective treatment for post traumatic stress by the American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organization and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and Department of Defense, among others.
- The national registry of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, identified EMDR as an evidence-based approach for addressing symptoms of PTSD, anxiety and depression (EMDR International Association Pamphlet, 2014).
My Level of Training in EMDR: EMDRIA Certified EMDR Therapist (since January 1, 2016), EMDRIA approved Basic EMDR Training - parts I and II (completed February 1, 2015). I attend training related to trauma recovery on an ongoing basis, in addition to participating in consultation and peer supervision. EMDR-specific training in recent years has also included R-TEP, or the Recent Traumatic Episode Protocol.