In EMDR eye movements, the client seems to spontaneously free-associate through a whole network of related memories, sensations and emotions. It is as if the eye movements (or alternative sounds or touch) facilitate access to all the channels of association to the traumatic memory targeted during the treatment.
As these different channels are accessed, the client appears to rapidly link up with more appropriate information which leads to a more functional and less dysfunctional storage. So, for instance, the client no longer feels helpless and has access to a more adaptive understanding of the traumatic memory. This new perspective can then replace the neurological imprint of terror and fear with a feeling of empowerment in the present and/or the sense of safety in the present.
EMDR has become well known in the field of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It can be very useful for those who experience a reoccurring memory or trauma. This “picture” of the memory feels like it is ‘frozen in time’. EMDR helps to address this memory with rapid eye movements that help process the fear and panic around the reoccurring picture.
EMDR is often used in the treatment of shock, trauma and after an accident or an anxiety disorder that reoccurs as an emotional response to a traumatic memory.