Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing – commonly known simply as EMDR – is a type of psychotherapy that was developed to treat the anxiety associated with post-traumatic stress disorder and other anxiety disorders, although it may also sometimes be used in the treatment of other mental health problems, such as depression. EMDR involves rhythmically moving your eyes – by tracking the therapist’s back-and-forth finger movements, for example – while simultaneously recalling the anxiety-provoking event or trauma. In addition to moving your eyes from side to side, other forms of bilateral stimulation may also be used, such as sounds. The aim of the therapy is to break the link between your memories and anxiety symptoms.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.