Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
The general goal of psychotherapeutic intervention is to increase well being of an individual. There are several ways in which the therapist and the client work together to devise a solution to the problem with which the clients reaches for the therapy. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of exposure therapy which employs cognitive restructuring, imaginal flooding, and the use of rapid, rhythmic eye movements and other bilateral stimulation to treat clients who have had experience of traumatic stress.
What to expect?
Conceived by Francine Shapiro (2001), this therapeutic procedure draws is founded on a wide range of behavioral interventions. There are several evidence that EMDR have been particularly used in persuasion programs and have enhanced persuasion of the client when certain instructions have been provided through in the condition where the client is exposed to induced eye movement. Several advertising agencies have been utilizing the induced eye movement techniques to convince people. Similar observations are evident regarding therapeutic procedures.
How is it used?
The undertaken model of therapy assumes clients get persuaded because the development of independent mental images and the self-regulatory actions in response to the persuasive information occurs and attentional resources are invested in the process. A central premise is that the development of mental images and of self-regulatory actions is not for free: it needs and utilizes substantial amount of attentional resources. This implies that when there is not enough attentional resource available, one or both processes may not completely unfold. Mental images might fail to reach high quality (e.g., vividness), and/or self-regulatory actions might be prevented or disturbed, and not or less effective. Implying various effects on persuasion. Thus, the available attentional resources is expected to influence persuasion, which implies that, exhausting attentional resources with another, competing task will influence persuasion. One way to exhaust attentional resource is by inducing regular eye movements. This will help the therapist to expose the clients to traumatic incidents without invoking intense emotional arousal because of scanty attentional resource available to elicit such an response.
There exist some controversy if the eye movements themselves create change, or the application of cognitive techniques paired with eye movements act as change agents. The empirical support for EMDR has been quite indecisive, making it difficult to draw firm conclusions about the success or failure of this particular intervention (McNeil & Kyle, 2009). In an attempt to write about the future of EMDR, Prochaska and Norcross (2007) made several predictions: outcome research will shed light on EMDR’s effectiveness compared to other current therapies for trauma; increasing numbers of practitioners will receive training in EMDR; and further research and practice will ensure a sense of its effectiveness with disorders besides posttraumatic stress disorder.
When is it used?
Fashioned to assist clients in suffering with posttraumatic stress disorders, EMDR has been widely applied to a variety of populations including children, couples, combat veterans, victims of crime, sexual abuse victims,rape survivors, accident victims, and individuals dealing with neurotic troubles like anxiety, panic, depression, grief, addictions, and phobias.
Role of therapist:
Shapiro (2001) emphasized upon the importance of the safety and welfare of the client while using this approach. EMDR might appear simple to some, but the ethical use of the procedure requires training and clinical supervision. Since it elicits powerful reactions from clients, it is essential that practitioners know how to safely and effectively handle these occurrences. Therapists should not involve this procedure unless they have proper training and supervision from an authorized EMDR instructor.
Dijkstra, A., & van Asten, R. (2013). The Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Procedure Prevents Defensive Processing in Health Persuasion. Health Communication, 29(6), 542–551.