What is EMDR Therapy?

The term EMDR is an abbreviation for a technique used in psychotherapy. When expressed in Turkish, it means “eye movements desensitization and processing”.

Our brain is like a 24/7 camera system that records every moment we live. Every situation we experience is adapted to our body by our brain and takes its place in the pool of memories. Thanks to this brain function that we have from the moment we are born, we can shelve the bad memories we experience and make our lives more positive and livable. If the traumas we have experienced have not been processed adaptively in our brain and have only settled in our memory as recorded schemas, they will become the source of the mental problems we will experience in the future. Disorders such as phobias, obsessions, anxiety, and OCD may result from such a dysfunction of our brain or from a minor or major trauma in the past.

EMDR therapy, on the other hand, allows the person to reevaluate the memory that caused the problem at this point, from a positive, new and healthy perspective. In 1987, Dr. This method, which was created by Francise Shapiro’s coincidental discovery that eye movements reduce the severity of disturbing thoughts, is a psychotherapy technique in which rhythmic stimuli are sent to the right and left brain, helping the brain to reconstruct a past event that cannot be thrown into the pool of memories. With the application of this technique when necessary, the client recovers from the effects of the traumatic event and returns to his normal life. This psychotherapy process, which requires both physiological applications and cognitive and dynamic therapy techniques, is a very effective method of mental treatment.

This method, which has taken its place in the literature since 1995, has been used extensively in our country after the Marmara earthquake, and its concrete effects on the mental health of the earthquake victims have been observed. It is still used as an effective therapy method in our country and all over the world. This method, which can be applied with different disciplines in all age ranges, does not have the function of erasing bad memories in our memory, although it is a powerful psychotherapy approach for solving psychological problems. The aim of this psychotherapy style is to help the brain remove a traumatic event from our agenda due to the passage of a certain time and to reduce its effects on us. In other words, although we cannot perceive the event as if it never happened, we can become insensitive to the negative connotations it evokes with this therapy method. This will help us in eliminating our mental problem that feeds on this traumatic event.

Although this method is classified as “short-term therapies” in the literature, it can be flexible in terms of duration according to the collectiveness of the problem to be solved and the effects it reflects on the person. For this reason, the course of therapy and the feedback received can give an idea about how long the application will take. However, for this, it is necessary to start the therapy process somehow. It is hardly possible to predict how long therapy will take before initiation. For this reason, it is important for the client to approach the process with patience and to have knowledge about the methods of EMDR therapy for the positive outcome of the therapy.

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