It’s April, and it’s Sexual Assault Awareness month! Three years ago I wrote a post about Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). I heard about EMDR from my high school friend who is a sexual assault survivor, and she found that EMDR was particularly helpful in dealing with her past childhood sexual abuse and college rape. Here is useful information if you are a sexual assault survivor or if you know a survivor.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
I’m interested in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy because it is known as one of the most effective treatments for people suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I first heard about EMDR from my friends Miss Bookworm and Miss Poet. Both are sexual assault survivors that have partaken in the therapy after suffering from PTSD.
Francine Shapiro and Different Experiences
Francine Shapiro, an American psychologist, developed the therapy after a chance observation that eye movements decreased disturbing thoughts and memories. EMDR has eight phases, and the chart above shows those eight phases.
I’ve heard different opinions about EMDR:
- Miss Bookworm had difficulty with the therapy because she always felt exhausted after every session.
- Mr. Squigglekins believes that Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a more effective therapy because it gets at the heart of the trauma.
- Miss Poet told me she liked EMDR and didn’t have adverse effects, unlike Miss Bookworm.
- My other friend, Miss Tennessee, said it was an effective treatment for her daughter after she experienced the suicide of her boyfriend.
When I looked on Amazon, Shapiro’s self-help book, Getting Past your Past: Take control of your life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy, has 73% five-star rating.
My research shows that EMDR is an effective treatment, but it’s not for everyone. It depends on the personality and problems. If EMDR works for you, that’s great. If it doesn’t, investigate other therapies, such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, etc. The point of treatment is to help people have a practical toolbox to handle the stresses and curve balls of life.
By Psychonaught (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons