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Frequencies of Yah & Attitude: A look at EMDR Therapy

EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing) Therapy.

What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy treatment that was originally designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories (Shapiro, 1989a, 1989b). Shapiro’s (2001) Adaptive Information Processing model posits that EMDR therapy facilitates the accessing and processing of traumatic memories and other adverse life experience to bring these to an adaptive resolution. After successful treatment with EMDR therapy, affective distress is relieved, negative beliefs are reformulated, and physiological arousal is reduced. During EMDR therapy the client attends to emotionally disturbing material in brief sequential doses while simultaneously focusing on an external stimulus. Therapist directed lateral eye movements are the most commonly used external stimulus but a variety of other stimuli including hand-tapping and audio stimulation are often used.

EMDR Protocal

EMDR therapy uses a three pronged protocol: (1) the past events that have laid the groundwork for dysfunction are processed, forging new associative links with adaptive information; (2) the current circumstances that elicit distress are targeted, and internal and external triggers are desensitized; (3) imaginal templates of future events are incorporated, to assist the client in acquiring the skills needed for adaptive functioning.

EMDR Treatment

EMDR therapy involves attention to three time periods:  the past, present, and future.  Focus is given to past disturbing memories and related events.  Also, it is given to current situations that cause distress, and to developing the skills and attitudes needed for positive future actions.  With EMDR therapy, these items are addressed using an eight-phase treatment approach.

Phase 1:  The first phase is a history-taking session(s).

Phase 2:  During the second phase of treatment, the therapist ensures that the client has several different ways of handling emotional distress.

Phases 3-6:  In phases three to six, a target is identified and processed using EMDR therapy procedures.  These involve the client identifying three things: 1.  The vivid visual image related to the memory 2.  A negative belief about self 3.  Related emotions and body sensations.

Phase 7:  In phase seven, closure, the therapist asks the client to keep a log during the week.  The log should document any related material that may arise.  It serves to remind the client of the self-calming activities that were mastered in phase two.

Phase 8:  The next session begins with phase eight.  Phase eight consists of examining the progress made thus far.  The EMDR treatment processes all related historical events, current incidents that elicit distress, and future events that will require different responses


When my daughters were 7&8 they were molested and sodomized by a person they considered to be a grandparent. They are now 16 & 15 and it has taken years to over come the abuse they endured.

One treatment process I discovered was EMDR while studying psychology for my Psychology degree. For my 15 year old, it worked wonders for her PTSD and anxiety. For my oldest, not so much. It seemed to make her more angry but lead us to the discovery of other issues that were emerging and causing unwanted behavior.

What was done with my 15 year old who at the time was 13 when treatment was done was this:

On a weekly basis we saw the licensed psychotherapist. She spent an hour with her each week where my daughter was walked through her trauma. Using stimulation of sound, the therapist was able to ease her anxiety and help her eliminate for the most part her PTSD trigger reaction.

My daughter went from crying at the drop of a hat because I spoke to her or asked her to take family photos, or because the smell of dish soap set her off: to someone who draws on a daily basis, and wants to learn how to cook and sew and interacts with her friends again.

If you know someone who has been abused, please seek counseling and report it to the police.

The effects of abuse especially sexual abuse, is a life long and life changing experience that the victim DID NOT WANT TO HAVE OCCUR!

Left untreated, drug addiction, homelessness, suicide, and other unwanted habits people do not understand emerges.

You should want better for those you love or know. If they wont get help, and are under 18, then do what you must to get them where they need to be.


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