Traumatic memories are stored in our brain differently from other types of memories. When trauma is experienced, the “fight or flight” response mechanism is activated to “survive”.
Often however, the brain cannot make sense of the event. The naturally adaptive information processing system gets disrupted. As a result, the memory of the traumatic event gets stored in a fragmented and incomplete way, and this is the way it continues to re-emerge in the present. The memory appears to be frozen. The thoughts, feelings, and images associated with the traumatic event are blocked in our nervous system.
EMDR therapy changes the way trauma is stored in the brain and reduces the disturbing emotions, symptoms, and cognitions – thoughts and beliefs – associated with that experience. Through eye movements, EMDR therapy will give the brain a second chance in processing what has been experienced.
The result of adaptive processing is relief from somatic and emotional distress and a new availability to responses / reactions that will enhance self worth and self efficacy. EMDR is intended to alleviate human suffering and assist the individual in a process that will promote the fulfillment of his or her potential for development.