What is EMDR?

June 4, 2013


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been proven effective for the treatment of trauma. Trauma is any experience that causes one to develop erroneous beliefs about oneself or the world and to behave in ways that are not helpful for that individual. Traumas can lead to the symptoms of PTSD, phobias, fears, anxieties, as well as, effect one’s feelings of self -confidence and self-efficacy.

EMDR psychotherapy is an information processing therapy that addresses the experiential contributors to an individual’s current experience. EMDR attends to the past experiences that have set the groundwork for this negative or distressing experience, the current situations that trigger dysfunctional emotions, beliefs and sensations, and the positive experience needed to enhance future adaptive behaviors and mental health.

During treatment “dual stimulation” is used in the form of bilateral eye movements, tones or taps to support the reprocessing of past memories, present triggers, or anticipated future experiences. During this time, clients experience the emergence of insight, changes in memories, or new associations that allow them to let go of unhealthy behaviors and negative self- beliefs.

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About the author
Kathryn Grooms

Kathryn is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over twenty years of experience working with issues of substance abuse, trauma, sexuality, gender, mood disorders and anxiety. Kathryn is passionate about empowering her clients to navigate their unique journey of self-discovery and emotional healing.