Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) is a relatively new therapeutic approach, which has extensive research backing up its use as a therapeutic tool for many different issues. EMDR uses the brain’s natural capacity to heal itself by helping the brain make connections between events, memories and sensations. EMDR has been especially effective in working with the effects of trauma, such as childhood abuse, combat and accidents. It is currently believed that when a trauma occurs, it may impede the brain’s natural ability to process information, causing the trauma memory and other symptoms and associations to become “stuck” or lodged in certain areas of the brain. EMDR uses a series of eye movements, sounds or touches which may have a similar effect on the brain as normal REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, to allow the brain to reprocess information, and heal trauma symptoms . EMDR requires specialized training and should never be offered by someone who is not a trained psychotherapist, specially certified as an EMDR practitioner.

CPC’s Gary McMichael, LCSW, MDiv is a certified EMD practitioner.