Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a psychotherapy therapy technique that utilises sensory input such as eye movements to help people recover from trauma.
As a therapeutic approach, EMDR is based on several theories of psychotherapy, including concepts of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). EMDR techniques are used to unblock emotional processes that have been stagnated by distress. By unblocking your emotions, you can (in a sense) reprogram your brain. Then, you can begin to heal from the fear and pain associated with the trauma and emotional distress you have experienced. EMDR can also allow you to gain a new perspective, which can facilitate improved self-esteem and enhance your personal beliefs about your capabilities.
The first phase involves getting your complete history. This could include painful memories, events, or experiences from your past, as well as your current stresses. Based on your history, you and your therapist will develop a treatment plan that targets specific memories or incidents.
At first, your work might be focused on your childhood. If you have a specific condition like panic disorder, you may be asked details about your panic attacks such as when they started, what your worst one was like, and when you had your most recent one.
During this phase, your therapist will help you learn some ways to deal with stress and anxiety, such as doing mental exercises.
Phases 3 through 6 are where hard work is usually done. Here's a brief overview of what the sequence can look like.
The 7th phase is the closure phase. During this phase, you and your therapist will discuss the positive steps you've made and how to keep them going on a daily basis.
You and your therapist will continue to talk about your progress, look at your treatment goals, and see how well your goals have been met. At this point, you will also determine if you need to work through other targets you identified in phase one. During this phase, you and your therapist will also discuss ways to cope with current and future stress.