What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
A Powerful Psychotherapy Approach
Sherry A. McKisson, Licensed Professional Counselor,
Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist
Tuesday, March 14th
6 - 7:30pm
St. James Episcopal Church
766 N Main Street
Hendersonville, NC 28792
What is EMDR? Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a powerful psychotherapy approach that has helped over two million people of all ages relieve many types of psychological distress. Developed in 1987 by Dr. Francine Shapiro when she observed (by chance) that eye movements can reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts, under certain conditions.
Today, EMDR has developed into set of standardized protocols that incorporate many different treatment approaches, utilized by trained professionals who assist with healing from many distressing conditions.
It has been designated as an effective treatment by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and more.
Scientific research has established EMDR as effective for post traumatic stress; clinicians have also reported success using EMDR in the treatment of:
- Complicated Grief
- Dissociative Disorders
- Disturbing Memories
- Panic Attacks
- Sexual and/or Physical Abuse
- Body Dysmorphic Disorders
- Eating Disorders
- Pain Disorders
- Performance Anxiety
- Stress Reduction
EMDR addresses other conditions not indicated on list.
EMDR appears to have an effect on the way the brain processes information, similar to what happens naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Therefore, EMDR can be thought of as a physiologically based therapy that helps a person see disturbing material in a new and less distressing way.
Put simply, when a disturbing or distressing event happens it gets stored in the brain in a way that can create on-going feelings of impending danger or distress. We can be triggered by something that reminds us of this event and believe that the event will happen again, or is happening now. EMDR helps to move the storage of that memory to a more functional part of the brain that can experience the event as actually being in the past. This processing allows us to react in the present, without interference from the past. Essentially, EMDR allows the brain to problem solve and heal.
Sherry A. McKisson is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist in private practice in Hendersonville. She is a Certified EMDR therapist and an Approved EMDRIA (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing International Association) Consultant.
Directions to St. James Episcopal Church:
Heading east on 6th Ave:
Cross Main St. Take next left onto N. King. Cross 7th Ave. Immediate right turn into church driveway.
From Four Seasons:
Turn right onto N. King. Cross 7th Ave. Take immediate right into church driveway.
Park in side lot. Use side entrance. Go to the left. Go through door. The Trinity room is the large classroom with two doors at that end of the hall.
Bathrooms are at the other end of the hall, on left.
This educational presentation is presented by NAMI Four Seasons and is free and open to the public.