EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a form of therapy that uses the natural healing ability of our bodies to process trauma and other distressing life experiences. EMDR therapy has been extensively researched and has demonstrated effectiveness for trauma. If can also be used to treat PTSD, anxiety, depression, phobias, grief, and self-esteem issues.
During an EMDR session, eye movements similar to what we experience during REM sleep are recreated - the client follows the therapist's hand movement with their eyes and then reports back on what they're experiencing. This could be thoughts, bodily sensations, emotions, or images. As the process is repeated, the disturbing memories decrease in intensity. The memories don't go away, but they lose their power to negatively impact our lives.