We recently received a clipping of a great article in the mail from the Arizona Jewish Post. The article ran in the Mind, Body and Spirit Section of the publication on January 23, 2009 and was written by Linda Sparks.
“Clients who come to Jewish Family & Children’s Service with post traumatic stress disorder may find themselves engaged in an unusual — and unusually effective — therapy known as EMDR.
EMDR, which stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, was created in 1987 by Dr. Francine Shapiro and is now one of the foremost treatments for PTSD, as well as anxiety, substance abuse, complicated grief and phobias.
‘EMDR doesn’t erase the memory,’ says Barbra Quade, director of child and adolescent traumatic stress services at JFCS. ‘What it does is help people deal with their trauma so that it isn’t so troubling to think about.’
Trauma can prevent the brain from processing information normally, says Quade, so remembering the trauma can feel as bad as going through it the first time because the images, sounds, smells and feelings haven’t changed. This effect often interferes with a person’s interactions with others as well as their view of the world….EMDR relies on ‘bilateral stimulation; using both the left and right sides of the brain alternately, which opens up the brain to new pathways for troubling thoughts to be dealt with,’ says Quade.
‘When we have a negative thought, and we continue to repeat that thought to ourselves, it’s a lot like an old scratched record,’ Quade says. ‘That thought makes the scratch deeper and deeper and it repeats itself over and over, making entrenched pathways in our minds.’….EMDR is one of the main modes of trauma therapy in Israel, where PTSD is prevalent. ‘Trauma affects us mind, body and spirit,” says Quade. “When we can relieve that disturbing feeling, we open ourselves up for living purposefully again.’”
It’s great to see EMDR gaining coverage in local communities across the country, and it is particularly exciting to hear that Jewish Family & Children’s Services, which is prevalent in cities across America, is using EMDR!
Is EMDR gaining coverage in your community? If so, please share with us!