Ask an Expert About E.M.D.R.

NEW YORK TIMES

February 27, 2012

By TOBY BILANOW

The psychological therapy known as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, or E.M.D.R., has gained increasing attention in recent years as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder among returning war veterans and others suffering from the results of serious trauma. The integrative approach uses rapid eye movements or other bilateral stimulation together with other procedures to access and process disturbing memories.

“Recent research has demonstrated that certain kinds of everyday life experiences can cause symptoms of P.T.S.D. as well,” says Francine Shapiro, the originator of E.M.D.R. “Many people feel that something is holding them back in life, causing them to think, feel and behave in ways that don’t serve them. E.M.D.R. therapy is used to identify and process the encoded memories of life experiences that underlie people’s clinical complaints.”

The therapy has been recognized as effective by numerous organizations, including the American Psychiatric Association and the Department of Defense, but controversy exists as to how it works.

You can learn more about how E.M.D.R. therapy is done here.

Dr. Shapiro is a senior research fellow at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, Calif., director of the EMDR Institute, and founder of the nonprofit EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs, which provides pro bono training and treatment to underserved populations worldwide. Her latest book is “Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy” (Rodale, 2012).

Dr. Shapiro’s responses to readers questions and the references she cited can be found in subsequent posts on this blog.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: