EMDR was developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro, Clinical Psychologist, in 1987.
Research has identified that trauma or phobias can, for some, become lodged within the brain in a manner that makes them irresolvable. As a result the brain acts to understand the experience by continually replaying the trauma in an attempt to help it adapt. This results in symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, preoccupations with the incident and constant rumination. The physical consequences of this include hyper vigilance, exaggerated startle response, sleep difficulties and a heightened sense of arousal and anger, which the brain seeks to avoid. This collection of symptoms forms the basis of a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (DSM IV).
EMDR has been shown to be both effective with adults and children, the advantage of using EMDR with children is that it can be a relatively speedy model, does not rely on good verbal skills, and can be integrated into a dyadic intervention with both child and carer/parent.
Further information about EMDR can be found at www.emdr.com