EMDR is a therapy method developed by psychotherapist Francine Shapiro. It looks at the person’s expressed symptoms (complaints) from the perspective of trauma. In Turkish it is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.
How to work with EMDR?
Our brain consists of two hemispheres. And these two hemispheres are connected to each other by a structure called Corpus Callosum in order to work synchronously. If this connection does not exist, the right and left of our body move independently of each other.
Let’s imagine that we divide our body vertically from the middle to our feet. Our right side and our left side… These two sides are governed by different hemispheres. The left hemisphere governs the right side of our body and the right hemisphere governs the left side. Let’s clarify the situation with an example: Let’s say we are holding a pencil with our right hand. Our right hand sends information to the left hemisphere of our brain about everything it feels while holding the pencil. However, if this information remains only in the left hemisphere, we cannot make sense of the pen. So we can’t understand what’s going on. Therefore, the left hemisphere receiving the information sends all the data it has to the right hemisphere via the corpus callosum. In the meantime, electric current occurs in our brain from right to left and from left to right. And all the data at hand becomes integrated and meaningful thanks to this flow. Now we realize that the pen we hold with our right hand is a pen. And for us, the process of processing information is completed in a healthy way. There is nothing that cannot be understood.
The same information processing process also applies to making sense of the events we experience. Our brain easily processes some of the things we live, namely the data obtained from life. However, the emotional burden of some of our experiences is so high that our brain cannot process information in a healthy way under this pressure. And all the data about the event we live is almost trapped in one hemisphere of our brain. As a result of this confinement, thoughts, feelings and some bodily symptoms that negatively affect us occur. Let’s say Ayşe was chased by a dog 5 years ago. She thought at that time that she would be bitten, that she would not be able to handle the dog, that she was weak, etc. She thought. He was so afraid of the dog that his hands turned cold, his heart rate quickened, and he broke out in a cold sweat. She ran and hid, and somehow it passed. If Ayşe’s brain is not able to process this situation in a healthy way, Ayşe will most likely develop a phobia of dogs. In this case, every time he encounters a dog or hears a barking sound, he experiences the same or similar experiences as he experienced 5 years ago. Again, his hands go cold, his heart starts beating fast, he starts to break out in a cold sweat. And for this reason, Ayşe cannot walk around the streets comfortably, she lives in constant fear of meeting a dog. And his life becomes uncomfortable.
In EMDR therapy, visual/tactile/auditory stimuli are given to the stored data of our traumatic, challenging experiences (including thought-emotion-physical symptoms and behaviors) that affect our day, and are processed again by the brain in a healthy way. The aim is to neutralize the negative effects of the negative event and to look at the event from a more realistic perspective. For example, Ayşe, who experienced this dog-chasing event, might think about negative things such as “I am weak”, “I am not safe”, etc., after the EMDR sessions, she may switch to positive thoughts such as “I am strong”, “it’s over now, I’m safe” that will liberate her.
EMDR does not erase bad memories! This is media misdirection. Only the negative effects of the events experienced on us can be overcome. EMDR liberates.