Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is most commonly known for treating traumatic, distressing or negative events. Since its development as a therapeutic technique, a great deal more is understood about the brain and why EMDR works. It can also be applied more broadly now to help people who do not have a trauma disorder.

EMDR is a restorative technique used to identify and change those neural pathways that control our behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. It can be used to eliminate or update neural paths that hold onto negative behaviors, thoughts, and feelings.

This technique has been proven to help resolve the development of trauma-related disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in soldiers and victims of violence or extreme distress. It is highly effective in clearing negative thought patterns as well as developing cognitive resources such as increasing positive thoughts and beliefs. I use this technique frequently because of its versatility. EMDR works on a neurobiological level and can be combined with Hypnosis or regular therapeutic conversation.

Think of EMDR like you would the updating of the electrical wiring in your house. A switch may go bad or start sending too much energy through a circuit. Sometimes you replace the switch and sometimes you update the wiring. Most of us call in professionals to help with household electrical problems because they are specifically trained to address these issues. So EMDR is the rewiring or your brain’s circuitry to remove negative thoughts and patterns, and replace them with positive ones.

Depending on the clients’ needs and depth of distress, EMDR may be an effective treatment when combined with other therapeutic techniques.