Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a psychotherapeutic protocol that has been proven effective for the treatment of trauma as well as performance enhancement. EMDR consists of a standardized series of procedures that draw from many areas of psychology. Jeff Trujillo successfully uses EMDR with clients seek not only relief from symptoms of PTSD but also performance enhancement.
How do we define trauma and how does EMDR work?
Because our brains are so complex, no one knows how any psychotherapeutic method or protocol works neurobiologically. Something that we do know is that when a person experiences something remarkably emotionally upsetting, our brain does not process the experience as it does situations that are not so emotionally charged.
For example, if the distress intensity of and experience is, say, anywhere from zero to 9.99 on a scale from zero to ten, our brains have the ability to process the experience. It does so by using all sorts of tools that have been developed over one’s lifetime. Processing is the use of these tools in order to bring down the emotional impact of an experience – allowing us to calm down – and permit us to really understand the experience and move on.
There are times though when folks have experiences that are off the chart in terms of distress intensity. When the distress intensity of an experience is 10 or above on that same scale, our brains are overwhelmed or flooded and generally unprepared to deal with the experience. When this happens, there is no way to process the experience and it just gets “stuck”. This stress caused by the experience being stuck can lead to acute stress disorder or to post traumatic stress disorder. Repeated traumatic events can lead to complex PTSD.
EMDR appears to influence how the brain processes an event. In a controlled way an event is recreated in a person’s mind, and through the use of specific EMDR actions, the event seems to then be processed normally. By processing the event, the emotional impact is reduced, one understands the meaning of an event more clearly, can integrate that meaning into their life, and move on. One still remembers what happened during the event, but remembering it is much less upsetting.
If you have more questions about EMDR, Jeff will be happy to answer them.