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EMDR: what is this therapy and how does it work


EMDR: what it is, how it works and for whom this method that helps to work on trauma can be useful.

EMDR is a relatively new psychotherapeutic approach aimed at working on traumatic and / or stressful events. It is a form of therapy that works by stimulating both cerebral hemispheres. Method used to help those who have suffered a strong trauma to detach themselves emotionally from it, making it just a memory . Definitely an interesting approach but which is also important to know well in order to understand if and when it is appropriate to try it.

EMDR: from meaning to the problems it can solve

The term EMDR in psychology comes from the English “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing” which translated means “Desensitization and reworking through eye movements”.


As the name suggests, therefore, it takes place by linking the therapy to external stimuli useful to help certain unresolved problems.

Generally EMDR therapy is recommended for those suffering from post traumatic stress or those who have suffered moments of shock due to grief, violence, accidents or other. More generally, it is useful to anyone who is unable to correctly process certain memories. For this reason, the EMDR method is also considered valid for children. Especially in case of anxiety or if they have suffered trauma related to affectivity and attachment figures.

EMDR psychotherapy: how it works

EMDR follows a standard protocol that starts from the patient history to the explanation of the technique for EMDR. Once this is done, the aspects on which to work are evaluated in order to desensitize the traumatic memories with bilateral stimulation . This process has a variable duration that changes from case to case and ends when the image of a certain event no longer disturbs the patient.

It is a delicate and complex process that also includes other phases such as the closure of the elaboration and the reassessment of the event itself. For this reason, it may happen that once at home (especially the first few times) the patient finds himself face to face with unpleasant and emotionally difficult images to bear. In this case, it is customary to contact the psychotherapist to consider bringing forward the next session.

Although it is a relatively new therapy (approved in 2013 by the World Health Organization), according to many studies its effectiveness is unquestionable. Reason why it is always advisable to consider it together with your doctor , in fact sometimes what for some is considered a trauma could be “only” a psychological overload .

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