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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, EMDR is a type of individual psychotherapy used to help people suffering from PTSD or other trauma to heal from the emotional scars and behavioral problems associated with the experience. Each session typically involves the therapist guiding their client to a specific memory associated with the trauma, holding that memory and experience (with guided help to destress the person while experiencing traumatic memories), and then focusing their eyes on the therapist’s hand, finger, or an object as it is moved back and forth across the client’s line of vision. This helps to reduce stress while focusing on the memory of the trauma. EMDR also uses some elements of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to retrain behaviors in reaction to trauma, such as training the individual to avoid substance abuse.
There are eight phases of EMDR treatment overall. Each phase may be part of an individual session, or they could be steps in a longer treatment plan.
Phases of the Process
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