EMDR was discovered in the United States in 1987 by Francine Shapiro, Doctor in Psychology in the Mental Research Institute of Palo Alto in California. According to history it seems she discovered the technique by accident when she wanted to relieve her emotions having had cancer.
She started conducting studies on groups of patients and concentrated her research on the disorders experienced by veterans who had returned from violent wars.
This discovery and the scientific research linked to EDMR brought about significant changes in the understanding of psychological mechanisms; it became a tool of choice in the treatment of certain disorders. It is based on a simple observation: the act of talking about a trauma is not sufficient and does not bring about significant improvement.
To talk about "a trauma" is not enough to fix it.
It helps the patient to provide a red line and sense to the event but it has proven that this will not solve it in a longer term.
Furthermore there is a risk of "over traumatising" some patients who, in classical therapy, are made to relate the facts without reprocessing the information. There is also a risk of what is called "reactivation" meaning that without any connected reason the patient will start developing stress, phobia, anxiety,....
EMDR is an acronym for "Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing".
The efficacy of this technique has been scientifically proven in numerous controlled studies. The hypothesis is that during the sessions the brain reprocesses the information in a similar way to during certain sleep phases.
The treatment stimulates the transfer of information and enables it to be reprocessed via the therapeutic process.
EMDR can be used for children, adolescents and adults who suffer from trauma or painful events, from depression, addiction, eating disorders, panic attacks, phobias, obsessional compulsive disorders, psycho-somatic disorders etc.
The advantage of the technique is the speed and efficacy of the treatment.
In certain complex cases, the change may not be as quick but the technique is no less effective and is integrated into the psychotherapeutic process.
A session lasts around 40 minutes. If it is unfinished, the session will be continued at the next appointment.
If necessary the patient can call me between sessions.
Therapy always starts with one or more preliminary meetings.
A thorough case history will be taken and no session will start before these meetings have taken place.