An EMDR Therapy promotional video from the Netherlands recently popped up on YouTube which included interviews with different therapists trained in explaining how the EMDR Therapy procedure works, along with two compelling stories of how EMDR Therapy helped these people recover from traumatic events.
The first story shared was a woman who shared that her husband had committed suicide and every time she thought about him she had a disturbing image come up. She would tremble, feel anxious, nausea and noticed that she had to turn her head away from the image. These symptoms are very common for people who experience traumatic events.
After experiencing three sessions of EMDR Therapy she could still see the image but she didn’t have all the emotional charge. She felt better. EMDR Therapy did not change the event, rather changed how she was holding the event in her mind and body.
Another powerful moment in the video you get to witness a man who is a train conductor and was witness to a horrible accident. A horrific picture was imprinted in his brain and it was terrorizing him. Just the mention of the picture you can see that is very disturbed.
The therapist set up the EMDR Therapy protocol which a series of questions were asked to activate the brain before beginning the actual eye movement. The essential piece of EMDR Therapy is that the client keeps one foot in the present moment while having one foot in the past. This keeps the client safe as processing occurs. The client thinks of the memory and everything that is disturbing about it while following the therapists’ fingers going back and forth creating a bilateral movement crossing the midline of the client’s face.
After about 30 seconds the therapist stops and asks the client what they are noticing. The client reports what they are noticing and then the eye movement begin again. The eye movements stop and start until the client feels no disturbance left.
The last part of the procedure is that the client has a new perspective on this traumatic incident and feels different about what they witnessed with a new belief that is positive about the him/herself. In the video you can see for yourself that the man feels much better by the end of the session.
Throughout the video different trained EMDR Therapists explain the procedural steps of EMDR Therapy through sharing clients stories. As I watched this video it reminded me of the stories in my book on EMDR Therapy — EMDR Essentials: A Guide for Clients and Therapists — where I took clients step by step through the process of what to expect with the EMDR Therapy process:
- Providing questions that a client can use to interview a potential EMDR Therapist, and how important it is to find a trained EMDR Therapist.
- Explaining trauma, memory and the brain.
- Explaining the 8 Phases of EMDR Therapy and what to expect when the clients goes into treatment.
- Sharing some stories from clients that experienced EMDR Therapy and how it impacted their lives.
Sharing EMDR Therapy resources, stories, research, and videos is an important part of educating the public on the benefits of EMDR Therapy. In watching the video, it is it is powerfully affirming to see how EMDR Therapy is used in different languages and cultures, and how EMDR Therapy can be presented in an accessible way.
We would love to hear your thoughts on the video.