Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of therapy that was developed to resolve trauma-related disorders. When a traumatic or distressing experience occurs, it may overwhelm the usual way in which the mind copes. It is thought that the memory of the event is stored in a separate part of the mind and can’t be processed in the normal way.
EMDR involves recalling a stressful past event and “reprogramming” the memory in the light of a positive, self-chosen belief, while using rapid eye movements to facilitate the process.
The goal of EMDR therapy is to process these distressing memories, reducing their lingering influence and allowing people to develop more adaptive coping mechanisms.
The NICE guidelines include EMDR as one of the recognised treatments for trauma.