EMDR therapy: what does it involve?

The emdr (Eyes Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a practice born in America and used in the psychological area for the elaboration of traumas. This treatment consists in bi-hemispherical stimulation; the goal is to transport certain events from the right hemisphere of the brain (that keeps them anchored to an eternal present) to the left one (that instead unites them to the other memories related to the past).

Talking about the most practical aspect, how is this possible? The specialist to whom we address, who must be in possession of an authorization for this practice, leads us to relive our memory focusing on the sensations we feel through a stimulus that in most cases is ocular, but can also be tactile or acoustic. The most common example is the one of the fingers: we are asked to follow them with our eyes as they move left and right and meanwhile to put our attention on what we feel.

Some people support the thesis that it is hypnosis because they do not believe that these actions are really useful for the elaboration of a trauma. Despite this, there are several arguments to invalidate this and patients who benefit from this treatment are constantly increasing.

The duration and the amount of sessions needed are variable, it all depends on the problem being treated. Another factor to consider is the life conducted by the person, if this person lives in a serene atmosphere, a shorter period of time will be necessary. Usually, however, there is a need for a minimum of three sessions; appointments are taken once a week and last about an hour and a half.

From what age is emdr recommended? There is no right age because the studies conducted show that even children may have experienced traumatic events and the validity of this practice is confirmed also in this area.

There are no contraindications but of course it is always proper to contact someone competent who can advise us in the right way.

Chiara Delle Pulle 3AL