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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a method of psychotherapy that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. It has also been shown to be effective with many other mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, phobias, somatic complaints, addictions, etc. Children have also been shown to benefit from the healing process of EMDR.

When a person experiences some form of trauma, their brain cannot process information as it does ordinarily. One moment, with its images, feelings, thoughts, seems to become "frozen in time," and anything that seems to trigger the memory of that event can bring a person right back to feeling as they did while the event was happening. Such memories have a lasting negative affect that interferes with the way a person sees the world and the way they relate to other people.

EMDR seems to have a direct affect on the way the brain processes information. Normal information processing information is resumed, so following a successful EMDR session, a person no longer relives the images, sounds, and feelings when the event is brought to mind. You still remember what happened, but it is less upsetting. EMDR appears to be similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or R.E.M. (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. Therefore, EMDR can be thought of as a physiological based therapy that helps a person use disturbing material in a new and less distressing way. (excerpt taken from the EMDR International Association -- www.emdria.org)

Further helpful information can be found with the EMDR Network, EMDR Institute, and the EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Program.

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