What is EMDR therapy ?
EMDR therapy uses bi-alternating (right-left) sensory stimulation that is performed by eye movements – the patient follows the therapist’s fingers that move from right to left in front of his eyes – but also by auditory stimuli – the patient wears headphones that alternately sound a sound to the right, then left – or tactile – the patient buzzers in his hands that vibrate alternately from right to left, or the therapist alternately taps the knees of the patient or the back of his hands .
Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., an American psychologist residing in California, currently Senior Research Fellow of the Menlo Park Research Institute – the Palo Alto School -, in 1987 came across a very simple way to stimulate a complex neuropsychological mechanism present in each one of us, which makes it possible to reprocess undigested traumatic experiences at the origin of various symptoms, sometimes very disabling ones. We can therefore treat post-traumatic events even many years later.
For nearly 30 years, EMDR therapy has proved its effectiveness through numerous scientifically controlled studies conducted by researchers and clinicians worldwide. It is mainly validated for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is the scientific name of what is also more commonly known as psycho-trauma.
As such, EMDR therapy is recommended, among other national and international public bodies, by:
– An Inserm report of June 2015 makes an inventory of the validation of the effectiveness of hypnosis and EMDR, with evaluation of the effectiveness of the practice of hypnosis.
– The UK Health Authority since June 2007, for the condition of post-traumatic stress (former name of the PTSD) as well as for the comorbidities often associated (depression, risk of suicide, dependence vis-à-vis drugs or alcohol, etc.). See Long-Term Disorders Guide: Long-Term Psychiatric Conditions, Serious Anxiety Disorders, page 17.
– The World Health Organization since 2013, cf. Guidelines for the Management of Conditions Specifically Related to Stress, pages 37-39.