Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapeutic treatment method and framework used in Finland since 1996. The field of application of the method today is wide, covering the treatment of many mental symptoms and disorders, as well as mental coaching. Mindroot’s EMDR experts have many years of experience using EMDR therapy in the following contexts, for example:
Many of the above experiences cause mental disorders in which a person’s mood, emotions, thoughts, bodily reactions, or behaviour impair the person’s ability to function, interpersonal relationships, and cause suffering to the person themselves and others. Mental disorders treated with EMDR therapy include:
Mental disorders are often caused by a variety of difficult experiences and associated intolerable emotions - such as fear, anxiety, anger, sadness, shame, guilt or helplessness. EMDR therapy is based on the adaptive information processing (AIP) model. According to this model, topical problems are the result of past negative experiences that are stored in memory networks in an inappropriate way. EMDR therapy targets the treatment of memories that disturb a person and the associated cognitions, emotions, and bodily sensations at the same time as the patient is given a bilateral stimulus that promotes treatment. The objective of therapy is to restart the information processing system and to adapt the emotions and cognitions associated with the event and the images associated with it into neutral and non-disturbing emotional components.
In coaching, EMDR therapy often targets future stressful events and the associated treatment of cognitions, emotions, and bodily sensations using bilateral stimulus. The objective of EMDR coaching is to adapt the perception of stress and other images that cause negative emotions, and the processing of related emotions and cognitions of a future event to be neutral and non-disruptive emotional components.
In EMDR therapy, the memories behind the customer’s challenges and symptoms are selected for re-treatment. When the information processing system is stimulated by bilateral stimulus (usually with a series of eye movements, but auditory or sensory stimuli can also be used), with the disturbing memory simultaneously in the customer’s mind, it integrates into a larger, adaptive memory network. At the same time, the negative image of oneself associated with the memory loses its meaning.
Successful EMDR therapy has been proven by research to have both neurobiological and psychological effects, making a distressing and disturbing memory emotionally neutral while binding a positive belief in the person themselves. The phenomenon can be described by saying that EMDR can be used to erase unnecessary, harmful and inappropriate memory material from the memory system. Typically, customers describe the experience of the event in the following ways:
“That memory goes further away, I cannot get a hold of it anymore”
“It does not feel that bad anymore”
“It has a bit like a fog curtain, I cannot see it clearly”
Negative beliefs related to the customer’s memory can be turned into more positive ones as a result of the treatment, e.g.
“I suck” -> “I am good enough”
“I am not enough -> I am enough”
“I am in danger” -> “I am safe”
“I will die” -> “I made it”
EMDR-therapy proceeds in eight phases:
(*) Source: Häkkänen-Nyholm, H., Heinimaa, M., & Solomon R. (2020). Silmänliiketerapian käyttö läheisen menetyksestä aiheutuneen komplisoituneen surun hoitoon. Duodecim 136(17):1889-94.
We recommend the YouTube tape that was done by Helinä and Roger Solomon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kl9GoXIzBzQ&t=669s
Other videos can be found here: