Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing pic
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Image: emdr.com

Dr. Robin Ohringer has maintained a private psychotherapy practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for more than twenty-five years. Dr. Robin Ohringer draws on advanced training in a variety of treatment modalities, including eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).

Originally developed to address the lasting effects of trauma, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing allows clients to think about and re-frame distressing memories. It centers on the model of adaptive information processing, or AIP, which holds that healthy functioning stems from successful experiences that prepare the brain to face new challenges. When a traumatic event occurs, its severity can interrupt this process and lead to psychological suffering.

EMDR allows the client to address the memories of this traumatic event by focusing on an external bilateral stimulus. This most often takes the form of horizontal eye tracking facilitated by the therapist, though some clients may respond better to similarly structured auditory stimuli or touching of the hands. While attending to this stimulus, the client can recall and aspects of the traumatic memory.

Many clients who have undergone EMDR have noted that this process gives rise to new insights about the memory. Negative self-directed thoughts and other maladaptive mental processes related to the memory give way to more adaptive thinking, and the client begins to heal. Some practitioners have likened this process to the removal of a foreign body from the skin, the lifting of which allows the body to heal itself.