Desensitization & Reprocessing)
EMDR is a therapeutic protocol that helps to reduce nervous system reactivity in response to stressors and traumatic experiences.
When we experience trauma or heightened distress, those memories become “stuck” in our minds and bodies, and not effectively digested or stored. This sets us up for increased reactivity when sensory input (triggers) reminds us of those experiences, even if on a subconscious level.
EMDR works by stimulating both sides of the body through bilateral stimulation (eye-movements, tapping, or auditory stimulation) at the same time that the client is processing the traumatic experience, guided by the therapist. The protocol can help to reduce the client’s reactivity to the trauma and related triggers, and increase their capacity to tolerate distress. Previously triggering situations become easier to manage and respond to in ways clients feel conscious of and in control of.
Each EMDR certified practitioner will have subtle differences as to how they move through the steps of the EMDR protocol, structure their sessions and facilitate bilateral stimulation.