|How does EMDR work?|
No one knows how any form of
psychotherapy works neurobiologically or in the brain. However, we do
know that when a person is very upset, their brain cannot process
information as it does ordinarily. One moment becomes "frozen in time,"
and remembering a trauma may feel as bad as going through it the first
time because the images, sounds, smells, and feelings haven’t changed.
Such memories have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the
way a person sees the world and the way they relate to other people.
EMDR seems to have a direct effect on
the way that the brain processes information. Normal information
processing is resumed, so following a successful EMDR session, a person
no longer relives the images, sounds, and feelings when the event is
brought to mind. You still remember what happened, but it is less
upsetting. Many types of therapy have similar goals. However, EMDR
appears to be similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM
(rapid eye movement) sleep. Therefore, EMDR can be thought of as a
physiologically based therapy that helps a person see disturbing
material in a new and less distressing way.
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