EMDR is an evidence-based psychotherapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In addition, successful outcomes are well-documented in the literature for EMDR treatment of other psychiatric disorders, mental health problems, and somatic symptoms.
EIGHT PHASE THREE-PRONGED PROCESS OF EMDR
The eight-phase, three-pronged process of EMDR facilitates the resumption of normal information processing and integration. This treatment approach, which targets past experience, current triggers, and future potential challenges, results in the alleviation of presenting symptoms, a decrease or elimination of distress from the disturbing memory, improved view of the self, relief from bodily disturbance, and resolution of present and future anticipated triggers.
The model on which EMDR is based, Adaptive Information Processing (AIP), posits that much of psychopathology is due to the maladaptive encoding of and/or incomplete processing of traumatic or disturbing adverse life experiences. This impairs the client’s ability to integrate these experiences in an adaptive manner.
During the Desensitization Phase the memory is activated and the clinician asks the client to notice his/her experiences while the clinician provides alternating bilateral stimulation. The client then reports these observations. These may include new insights, associations, information, and emotional, sensory, somatic or behavioral shifts.
RDI: Resource Development Installation
The client develops mastery of skills in self-soothing and in affect regulation as appropriate to facilitate dual awareness during the reprocessing sessions and to maintain stability between sessions.
The client self-reports the units of discomfort experienced for emotions arising during the desensitization phase where 0 is no disturbing and 10 is as disturbing as it could be.
A positive belief about oneself is installed to replace the negative belief that was informed during the distressing or traumatic incident and has been encoded in the traumatic memory.
The client scans their body from head to toe noticing any disturbing body sensations that remain.
For a comprehensive definition of EMDR visit the EMDRIA website