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What is EMDR?

July 22, 2013


Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing therapy (EMDR), has become one of the most interesting and successful interventions in the field of psychological research and practice for trauma (large and small) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as well as its successful use with anxiety disorders.   Like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR is client centered and client empowering, with the focus of the work being  exposures to traumatic or feared future events.

EMDR works by combining the use of bilateral eye movement stimulation with visual imagery to desensitize the client to otherwise upsetting and traumatic images. The bilateral eye movements stimulates the ocular nerve and allows for a relaxation response to develop in the nervous system. This relaxations response allows for releasing of Imagethe trapped emotions anxiety, anger, fear, disappointment, shame and guilt commonly associated with negative past events.

Further EMDR allows for information reprocessing to take place which allows the client to reprocess events so that  adaptive (positive or neutral) schema and thoughts can be incorporated into the clients beliefs system. These thoughts/schema range in  focus from beliefs  the client has about themselves, others and the events themselves.  This overall process facilitates  a client’s ability to heal from their recurring and painful re-traumatizing stimulus.    The overall process helps to tie together what the client knows  logically(i.e. I am  safe and away from danger, I can operate self-care) and what the client feels emotionally (i.e. I am still in danger, I am not entitled to feel loved).

EMDR can help people make changes to strong reactions that commonly interfere with relationships and personal goals. Common themes surround abandonment, vulnerability to harm/danger, the ability to receive love and ones capability and self-worth.   EMDR sessions work not only on past events but tie past events to feature images where the client is able to adopt the beliefs and behavior strategies into their coping style and skill sets. This is why EMDR and CBT work so well together.  In addition Dr. Albin combines yoga therapy and  breathing techniques to teach the client  efficient strategies that are effective in developing  acute relaxation skills.

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We have 2 convenient Manhattan Psychotherapy offices East 56th Btw Park and Lex and East 90th Btw Park and Lex

Developed by the behavioral psychologist, Francine Shapiro, Ph. D., EMDR’s process origins can be traced to CBT theory. As an evidence based psychotherapy institute, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy & Associates is advanced in it ability to utilize this treatment.

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