Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) was originated by Dr Francine Shapiro. EMDR has been established by extensive scientific and clinical research as an effective treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It has application beyond PTSD to other life experiences which had a negative learning outcome. It can be used to help establish self esteem, confidence, and to release attachments to out of date loyalties and unresolved baggage.
EMDR typically involves left-right eye movements, or auditory or tactile stimulation. It can be accomplished using either equipment or the practitioner may move her hand left to right to cause the client's eyes to move. This causes disturbing material to come forward in the client's awareness, enabling it to be resolved adaptively. For information on the scientific status of EMDR, please go to www.emdr.com. Dr. Potter is a EMDR Certified Consultant; go to www.emdria.org for names of certified EMDR consultants. EMDR involves the following steps, if people are not dissociative. 1) Client History, 2) Preparation (when indicating, strenghtening a safe sense, resourcing the client and ruling out red flags contraindicating proceding EMDR), 3) Assessment of the memory, image, negative belief about the self, the positive belief one wishes to hold instead (and how valid it seems at the outset), the emotion and the body sense of the memory, and the level of disturbance at the outset. 4) Desensitization with bilateral stimulation, whether eye movements, auditory or tactile stimulation is chosen by the client, 5) Installation of the desired positive cognition when it is ready to be received and strengthened, 6) closure and 7) follow up. See "looking through the eyes" for the steps for more dissociative individuals.