EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a therapy technique that has been translated into Turkish as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, and its effectiveness has been proven by scientific research. Although it was originally developed for the treatment of psychological trauma, it has been found to be effective in the treatment of many stressful conditions with subsequent research. Accident, disaster, abuse, grief, anxiety disorders, stressful situations, panic attacks, anger problems, addiction, obsessions and
There is a wide range of treatments used in conditions such as compulsions, depression, lack of self-confidence, migraine, and fibromyalgia.
What does EMDR aim for?
By stimulating the brain bidirectionally, EMDR aims to desensitize the person to the negative event experienced, as well as to transform the memory networks that are the cause of that memory and the situations triggered by that memory.
EMDR works on the past, present and future. It explores how our memories of the past affect us in the present and how they may affect us in the future. It is important to find the traces of the past and work on the negative situations that affect our present. Because networks of negative memories form the basis of our beliefs, attitudes, perceptions and behaviors that we have today.
Developing skills for the future after studying the past and present is also one of the aims of therapy.
In summary, EMDR aims to establish the functional beliefs that the person needs by desensitizing and reprocessing the memories, beliefs, feelings, thoughts and bodily symptoms that the person is negatively affected by.
How does EMDR work?
To understand how EMDR works and how our experiences affect us in general, I think it would be helpful to briefly talk about how the brain works.
What makes EMDR effective is the bidirectional stimulation of the brain. Our experiences are recorded and stored in the brain by neural networks. The right side of the brain is emotional, intuitive, visual. The left side is the speech and language center of the brain, it is logical and allows us to establish cause and effect relationships. While the right side hides the sensation of events, the left side hides the events in words.
The working system of the brain is normally adaptive, aimed at protecting the person. But a traumatic situation is frozen in our brain as it happened, and it suppresses the left side of the brain that makes sense. This causes us to be unable to put our current feelings and thoughts into words.
In EMDR, the brain is stimulated in two directions by moving the eyes to the right and left, so that the negative memory is perceived not only with the right side but also with the left side, and it is aimed that the person can process the memories in which he or she has negative feelings. With this reprocessing, the memory networks are stimulated and the unprocessed memory networks that cause inhibition are transformed. Here, it is the activation of the adaptive information processing process that takes place within one’s own mind, not the suggestions of the therapist, that enables the person to heal.
Why don’t we completely erase negative memories from our brains?
Because a memory cannot be erased. We can change the negative effect of a memory, not by erasing it from our memory, but by developing a different framework for that memory.
As long as we avoid a memory and its bad feelings and sensations, the discomfort of that memory will continue. With EMDR, you get the chance to look at this memory again in a safe environment.
In this way, the person develops the courage to go over that moment and take a step for change.
In the study, while emotion-related regions of the brain were more active at the beginning, activation was also observed in the occipital, parietal and temporal regions associated with other sensations after EMDR.
In the desensitization phase, remembering the traumatic experience encourages positive emotions rather than negative ones.