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EMDR: what it is and how it works


Let's find out what EMDR is, what it is, how it works and for whom this method that helps 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 hemispheres of the brain. Method used to help those who have suffered a strong trauma to emotionally detach from it, making it just a memory . An approach that is certainly interesting but which is also important to know well in order to understand if and when it is appropriate to try it. Although it is a technique that works, EMDR can, in fact, initially cause strong emotions. This is why it is important to choose it correctly and always rely on qualified and experienced personnel in this technique.

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 reprocessing through eye movements".
As the name itself suggests, therefore, it takes place by linking the therapy to external stimuli useful for helping certain unsolved problems.


EMDR therapy is generally recommended for those suffering from post-traumatic stress or for those who have suffered moments of shock due to death, violence, accidents or other. More generally, it is useful to anyone who is unable to process certain memories correctly. 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 in general and to attachment figures.

EMDR psychotherapy: how it works

EMDR follows a standard protocol that starts from the patient's history to the explanation of the technique for EMDR. Important step to understand the method of operation and the possible repercussions.
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 varies from case to case and ends when the image of a given event no longer disturbs the patient.

It is a delicate and complex process that also includes other phases such as the closure of the processing and the re-evaluation 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 to bear images. In this case it is practice to contact the psychotherapist to evaluate anticipating the next session or to talk about what creates particular disturbances to understand how to act in order to limit the problem.

Although it is a relatively new therapy (approved in 2013 by the World Health Organization), according to many studies its effectiveness is undoubted. This is why it is always advisable to consider it together with your doctor . Sometimes, in fact, what for some is considered a trauma could be "only" a psychological overload .
Having said that, there is no doubt that EMDR is a method that should always be taken into consideration and that it has improved the quality of life of many people in recent years.

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