What is EMDR?

Trauma therapy aims to manage and lessen the effects of trauma. The term "trauma-focused" is often used to describe an approach to therapy that emphasizes understanding the impact of the traumatic experience on an individual's mental, behavioral, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. The goal is to find ways to absorb the event, doing the work needed to adjust to the new reality of life following the event, and accommodating the impact of the event while moving forward.

One way to heal from the distress of a traumatic event is through eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR). EMDR helps lessen the intensity of the the traumatic events and the negative self-beliefs and hard emotions attached to them. EMDR trained therapists help clients access and process traumatic memories while simultaneously focusing on the back-and-forth movements like alternating hand taps. The World Health Organization (WHO) lists EMDR as a first line trauma treatment approach, and treatment goals can be achieved in fewer sessions than with traditional talk therapy.

Courtesy of EMDR International Association 

EMDR Simplified
I asked a client to draw how she would describe her experience with EMDR after processing the death of her father.

A line drawing representation of a client's emotions before and after EMDR therapy

The lines she drew represent how she experienced her thoughts about her father’s death before EMDR and how she experienced her thoughts after successful treatment.