Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is one of the groundbreaking therapeutic approaches when dealing with complex and simple trauma. I’ll shortly explain how does it work and what does trauma mean.
In its basic translation trauma means “wound”, so the person that is traumatized is basically wounded – just as a person that brakes his leg is wounded or a solder getting shot. Unlike the other parts of the body, the brain deals with psychological pain a lot differently, it might suppress the memory of the event, intellectualize what happened on a philosophical level, deny that the event ever happened, take out the negative emotions from the event on an innocent person or object, distance its self from other people or objects that bare a resemblance to anything that was present at the moment(s) of trauma and a few other ways. So, a simple traumatic event would be surviving a car crash, a street fight, a military operation – even thought military operations are intense, they are still simple trauma by their structure. A complex trauma is a mix of a longer exposure to one or more kinds of trauma. This includes, emotional abuse from parents/spouses/partners, sexual abuse/rape, neglect from parents and peers, divorce/breakup, bullying in school or the workplace, other forms of abuse that are going on for a longer period of time.
EMDR uses a very simple, yet extremely effective method to separate the negative emotions from the traumatic memories – often resulting in treatments that leave the client remembering the trauma but no longer feeling emotionally hurt by the event/trauma.
Ever since psychology came out, this has been its number one priority and at best what it has been able to accomplish is to teach victims to form strategies and other ways of viewing their situation, now EMDR actually offers a treatment that heals the mind.
EMDR is a method that is not only approved but also recommended by the World Health Organisation for treating trauma related disorders
A small preview of how EMDR functions can be seen here: