Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a treatment for Post Traumatic Brain Injury (PTBI) and Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD) that has been around for awhile. This type of treatment is nicely summarized by Tal Croitoru in her book The EMDR Revolution: Change Your Life One Memory at a Time — The Client’s Guide. Recovering from the physical injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident can be a long arduous task; however, when the injuries involve brain injury as well a psychological injury the task is far more complex and difficult.
Croitoru explains the EMDR treatment technique by pointing out that there are events in our lives that overwhelm us – a car accident for example. The memories of these events if left unprocessed can trigger a response – thoughts, feelings, emotions – which can be counter productive to psychological health, happiness and overall physical health. The EMDR technique involves engaging both lobes of the brain through eye movement – or some other form of stimulation – while keeping the unprocessed thought or experience in our mind. Once these memories have been processed using the EMDR technique, overall healing – cognitive, psychological, physical – can proceed.
According to Croitoru, EMDR treatment can provide meaningful results after a very short course of treatment, sometimes even after the first treatment. This stands in contrast to psychotherapy which may require many years or even decades of treatment. In addition to treatment for PTBI and PTSD, EMDR is now used to treat a host of other psychological issues as well including ADHD, various forms of anxiety, and even drug and alcohol addiction.
Other books on EMDR:
- EMDR Therapy: Learn To Love Your Past, Present And Future by Paul Catalani
- EMDR: The Breakthrough Therapy for Overcoming Anxiety, Stress, and Trauma by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D and Margot Silk Forrest
- EMDR: The Breakthrough “Eye Movement” Therapy For Overcoming Anxiety, Stress, And Trauma by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D and Margot Silk Forrest
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Second Edition: Basic Principles, Protocols, and Procedures by Francine Shapiro