Psychological Resource Associates
"EMDR was found to be an efficacious treatment for PTSD."
— Practice Guidelines
The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
Dean A. Dickerson, Ph.D.
EMDRIA Certified Therapist
EMDRIA Approved Consultant
Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress
EMDR or Adaptive Information Processing is an integration of therapeutic approaches that provides rapid resolution of PTSD. The process elicits the original trauma memory (hypnosis, imagery), which often includes a dyadic relationship (developmental, object relations). The client is asked to identify the affective experience (Gestalt); how the emotion is experienced in the body (somatic, Reichian) and the negative belief (cognitive) associated with the event. Adaptive or defensive strategies (behavioral) are also often identified. Revisiting the targeted memory while simultaneously providing bilateral neurological stimulation results in the acquisition of new information and the reduction of affective arousal (neurological learning and desensitization). Additional information can be found in EMDR as an Integrative Psychological Approach, Experts of Diverse Orientations Explore the Paradigm Prism.
Fourteen published, controlled studies support the efficacy of EMDR, making it one of the most thoroughly researched methods ever used in the treatment of trauma. Most people treated for single trauma find relief from post-trauma emotional symptoms within three or four sessions of EMDR.
After successful treatment with EMDR, affective distress is relieved, negative beliefs are reformulated, and physiological arousal associated with stress is reduced.
"We believe that EMDR induces a fundamental change in brain circuitry
similar to what happens in REM sleep -- that allows the person undergoing
treatment to more effectively process and incorporate traumatic memories
into general association networks in the brain. This helps the individual
integrate and understand the memories within the larger context of his or
her life experience."
— Robert Stickgold, Ph.D.,
Harvard Medical School
EMDR is effective with:
"EMDR quickly opens new windows on reality, allowing people to
see solutions within themselves that they never knew were there. And it’s
a therapy where the client is very much in charge, which can be particularly
meaningful when people are recovering from having their power taken away
by abuse and violation."
—Laura S. Brown, Ph.D.
Past Recipient of the American Psychological Association Award
for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Public Service
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