EMDR

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Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy treatment first developed by Francine Shapiro in the 1990s that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.

The treatment is suited to childhood abuse, depression, low self-esteem, performance anxiety, phobias and fears, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and trauma.

In short, EMDR therapy consists of the person being treated to recall distressing images; the therapist then directs the client in one type of bilateral sensory input, such as side-to-side eye movements or hand tapping. It is included in several evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It has been controversial; critics have argued that the eye movements in EMDR do not add to its effectiveness and lack a falsifiable theory. Multiple meta-analyses have found it to be just as effective as trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy for the treatment of PTSD.

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