The therapist works gently with the client and asks him/her to revisit the traumatic moment or incident, recalling feelings surrounding the experience, as well as any negative thoughts, feelings and memories. The therapist then holds her fingers about eighteen inches from the clients face and begins to move them back and forth like a windshield wiper. The client tracks the movements as if watching ping pong. The more intensely the client focuses on the memory, the easier it becomes for the memory to come to life. As quick and vibrant images arise during the therapy session, they are processed by the eye movements, resulting in painful feelings being exchanged for more peaceful, loving and resolved feelings.
The EMDR technique is most effective when used in conjunction with other traditional methods of therapy in treating these and many other emotional disorders. EMDR therapy can help clients replace their anxiety and fear with positive images, emotions and thoughts.
Since the initial medical study in 1989, positive therapeutic results with EMDR have been reported with the following populations: