EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITIZATION AND
In an age of managed care and funding
cutbacks, insurance companies as well as budget-minded individuals and
families are concerned about the expense of psychotherapy. I offer a
powerful technique that can shorten the time a patient spends with me.
It’s called EMDR, which stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and
EMDR is an innovative and rapid technique
for the reduction of trauma and anxiety disorders. To date, EMDR has
helped over two million people of all ages relieve many types of
psychological distress. It has been
successfully used with the disaster victims of Hurricane Katrina and the
Oklahoma City bombing, Iraqui war veterans, victims of rape/sexual
abuse, as well as those experiencing anxiety, depression and loss.
By definition, being hearing impaired in a
hearing and auditory society is a daily stressor. Hearing impairment
forces one to rely on visual rather than on auditory communication and,
as such, many memories are visual and conceptual. By
focusing on all sensory systems—including visual and kinaesthetic
learning—EMDR can reduce the stress of trying to put psychological
issues into words, which can be especially helpful for D/HOH people.
With less energy spent on verbalization, there is more energy to focus
on dealing with the actual trauma.
How does EMDR work?
The theory and protocol of the technique
is that trauma/anxiety produces an overload on sensory and information
processing which leaves the traumatic memory unresolved.
Traumatic memories may have visual, auditory, kinaesthetic
and/or emotional components that are not entirely addressed in verbally
based psychotherapies. As such, EMDR works
on many levels and works to desensitize those areas with the greatest
amount of charge i.e. flashbacks, fears, negative feelings or thoughts. EMDR can be a powerful approach which can
bring significant relief to the symptomatic client in both the degree
and intensity of the trauma to unpleasant memory with few or no
IS EMDR really effective?
There has been extensive research over the
last decade documenting not only the
effectiveness of EMDR but that is also superior to other clinical
treatments. EMDR is an empirically valid treatment for posttraumatic
stress disorder (PTSD) meeting the criteria established by members of a
task force initiated by the American Psychological Association.
Additionally, the benefits of EMDR are long lasting with fewer
Why is EMDR particularly suited to deaf
and hearing impaired people?
- Utilizes nonverbal, visual and
- More non-verbal than traditional
- Focus is more on emotional stress
rather than the cognitive interpretations of stress