Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, helps to process memories of shocking or hurtful experiences. EMDR is used when memories affect the quality of life. EMDR is also used for dysfunctional thoughts about the future. EMDR was developed by Francine Shapiro in 1987, and is effective in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), but also in many other psychological complaints, such as burnout, performance anxiety, stress and depression.

Desensitization is an important part of this treatment. The client brings into their mind a dysfunctional or traumatic memory. The therapist then makes horizontal movements with the hands, which the client follows with their eyes, whilst still concentrating on, and thinking about, that troubling memory. After a short break, in which the client feeds back to the therapist how the therapy affected him, the procedure with the eye movements is repeated. In this way, various aspects of the dysfunctional memory are addressed and can be effectively processed.