EMDR (Eye Movement De-sensitisation and Reprocessing) is an established and developing therapeutic model in which the client is initially given exercises and techniques to help them feel a sense of stability and safety within their nervous system which controls Fight/Flight/freeze responses. It is often the case that when we suffer trauma of any kind, our nervous system retains some of the charge that helped us to survive the situation that threatened our life. The charge that remains in the nervous system can cause anxiety, fear and discomfort and remains in the system until we are able to process what happened.
The reprocessing phase of EMDR helps the brain and the body to process elements of the trauma that had previously not been possible. As a client you will revisit the traumatic event but with one foot in the present moment, keeping you safe and in control of the process. While reprocessing you are able to experience the original event at a distance and allow inhibiting negative thoughts or beliefs about the event or events to be released and replaced with more positive and balanced ones. The process allows feelings to be felt and processed and gives the nervous system the chance to discharge the threat it was holding.
The eye movement relates to what is believed to happen when we experience REM sleep where the eyes rapidly move from side to side. It is believed that this is how the body processes the events of the day and that the brain processes in images, maybe placing images from the day into some sort of order that makes sense. During this process both sides of the brain communicate with each other. During trauma there is a loss of communication between the left and right side of the brain. EMDR allows the two sides of the brain to communicate the events of the trauma and returns balance to our brain and body.