Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy treatment that was originally designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories (Shapiro, 1989a, 1989b).
EMDR therapy facilitates the accessing and processing of traumatic memories and other adverse life experience to bring these to an adaptive resolution. After successful treatment with EMDR therapy, affective distress is relieved, negative beliefs are reformulated, and physiological arousal is reduced.
EMDR is not a quick fix although we all long for an immediate relief from intense overhwleming emotional experiences.
EMDR is only as good as the therapist.
Trauma destroys the social systems of care, protection, and meaning that support human life.
The core experiences of psychological trauma are helplessness, disempowerment and a fundamental disconnection from others.
Trauma robs the victim of a sense of power and control over her own life; therefore, the guiding principle of recovery is to restore power and control.
As the survivor summons her memories, the need to preserve safety must be balanced constantly against the need to face the past. The patient and therapist together must learn to negotiate a safe passage between the twin dangers of constriction and intrusion.
On top of that survivors of prolonged childhood abuse face the task of grieving not only for what was lost but also for what was never theirs to lose. The childhood that was stolen from them is irreplaceable.
There are many ways to work with trauma especially relational trauma that might still be happening.
Trauma related to racism, heterosexism, gender and class for an example are in the past, present and in the foreseeable future and need a collaborative and transparent approach in order to create a space that allows empowerment to flower.