We know that when something traumatic happens to you, your mind may continue to hold onto it in a way that includes the original picture, sounds, feelings, sensations and thoughts or any combination of the above. It seems like the trauma is locked inside and it can be triggered by many different things or people that you encounter throughout the day and/or night. These old experiences can still cause a great deal of discomfort. At times, you may feel helpless because you are not able to control what is happening in your mind or your body. That is because you are experiencing the affects and sensations that are connected with this old experience.
To date, there are fourteen controlled studies that support the idea that EMDR works well in the treatment of trauma; this makes it the most thoroughly researched method ever used for these types of problems. In the most recent 5 studies, 84-90% of the people that have had to cope with rape, combat, loss of a loved one, accidents or natural disasters, no longer had post-traumatic stress disorder after only three treatment sessions. Another study underwritten by Kaiser-Permanente, a California managed care company, found that EMDR was twice as effective in half the time when compared to the standard type of treatment.
These are exciting results and you are probably thinking that you can do this too! Well, sometimes, it is true and sometimes it may take a longer period of time. As with anything in life, it depends on what the problem is. For instance, people who suffer from Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (the name for those folks who have been severely traumatized over a long period of time), EMDR will take longer and often will include an extended preparation phase. This is a normal response to a very complicated problem. What is important is to take the time you need for your own recovery or healing.