Erin is EMDR trained and uses EMDR as a clinical intervention in session. She is a member of The EMDR International Association and volunteers for the EMDRIA Humanitarian Assistance Program, which provides pro-bono services to first responders.
Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy treatment developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro to help people heal from trauma. EMDR therapy integrates elements of many traditional psychological orientations and is based on the adaptive information processing model (AIP).
The AIP model hypothesizes that there is an inherent information processing system in the brain that gets blocked when traumatic events occur, causing these events to get locked in the brain with the original picture, sounds, thoughts, feelings and body sensations. Whenever a reminder of the traumatic event comes up, those pictures, thoughts, feelings, and sensations can continue to be triggered. According to Dr. Shapiro, many emotional problems and disorders are manifestations of these unprocessed trauma memories that are stored in the brain. EMDR therapy works on helping the brain reprocess these traumatic memories, and as a result alleviating the emotional and psychological disorders.
During treatment various procedures and protocols are used to address the entire clinical picture. One of the procedural elements is "dual stimulation" using either bilateral eye movements, tones or taps. During the reprocessing phases the client attends momentarily to past memories, present triggers, or anticipated future experiences while simultaneously focusing on a set of external stimulus. During that time, clients generally experience the emergence of insight, changes in memories, or new associations. The clinician assists the client to focus on appropriate material before initiation of each subsequent set.
The effectiveness of EMDR therapy is supported by several controlled studies; in fact EMDR therapy is the most researched psychotherapeutic treatment for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). After EMDR processing, clients generally report that the emotional distress related to the memory has been eliminated, or greatly decreased, and that they have gained important cognitive insights. Importantly, these emotional and cognitive changes usually result in spontaneous behavioral and personal change, which are further enhanced with standard EMDR procedures.
EMDR Institute, Inc. 2011, Ana Gomez 2012
Video above and link below courtesy of EMDR International Association and https://www.emdria.org
Reviewing concepts taught by Dr. Dan Siegel, M.D. and Dr. Bruce Perry, M.D., Ph.D., this video explains the disruption trauma can have on right-left and lower-upper brain equilibrium, which is essential to mental health. We see how trauma can cause the lower brain to become over-active and reactive, a concept brilliantly described, assessed, and treated in Dr. Bruce Perry's Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics™. EMDR is shown to bhighly effective in signaling safety and calming the lower brain.
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