What is EMDR Therapy?

emdr therapy Aug 25, 2022

By Jamie Sedgwick, LCPC, NCC

EMDRIA Approved Consultant


 The therapy world seems full of abbreviations for various treatment modalities: CBT, DBT, ACT, IFS…. The list can go on and begin to feel a bit like sorting through alphabet soup. With Prince Harry's and other celebrities' help, another therapy abbreviation has been growing in popularity: EMDR, which is short for “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.” EMDR has been catching the attention of clients and clinicians, and, like the other alphabet-soup therapies, many are wondering: What is EMDR therapy?

A Little History

EMDR was created in 1987 by Francine Shapiro, who was a doctoral student at the time. The idea to begin exploring the link between eye movements and desensitizing distressing material came to her one day on a walk (Shapiro, 2018). Francine realized that the distressing material she was thinking about became less and less uncomfortable as she walked. She also noticed that her eyes...

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Why Trauma Specialists Should Consider More Training

trauma specialists Jul 21, 2022
 

By Rachel Harrison, LCPC

EMDRIA Approved Basic Trainer and Consultant


 Almost weekly, I have a conversation with a therapist that goes something like this:

Me: I am so glad to hear you treat trauma. I’d love to learn more about your approach!

Therapist: Well, you know, as we are working in session, my clients talk through their traumas and we find new insights.

Me: Oh, okay, I was hoping to find therapists that use modalities other than talk therapy.

What I am thinking and want to say is, “Wrong answer!” We know trauma is stored in the limbic brain, so we need a method other than talk therapy to access the trauma.  

Don’t get me wrong, I love therapy, and I love therapists! I believe all therapists do the best work they know how to do with their clients. But that’s just it: you can’t know what you don’t know.

The bottom line is talk therapy does not work to treat trauma. Trauma is stored in a different area of the...

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