EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy

EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach which uses a set of standardized protocols, to make use of the body to more effectively work through difficult psychological events and experiences. At the Center for Personal Development, it is specifically used in conjunction through a relational lens to support traditional talk-focused therapy.

While the exact reason EMDR works remains a mystery, extensive empirical research has proven it as an effective treatment for trauma, in all its forms. What is known is that when people are confronted with traumatic experiences, often times their brains do not have the capacity to the process information properly during the actual experience. These traumatic experiences can become deeply integrated in the mind, and the memories or remembering the event can be as traumatic as the original experience – the images, emotions and feelings remain “frozen in time.” Such memories have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person sees the world and more importantly, the way they relate to other people.

EMDR has been proven to have a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information, in a manner similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Following successful EMDR treatment, a person no longer relives the images and emotions that the original experience brings to the mind.  Memories are not altered or changed, however, the present day experience of the memories are less upsetting and less impactful. Therefore, EMDR can be viewed as a physiologically based, body-centric therapy that assists in reprocessing disturbing experiences in the past in a new and less distressing way going forward into the future.

At the Center for Personal Development, our Chicago Therapists use EMDR in the treatment of the following conditions:

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Depression
  • Stress Reduction
  • Panic Attacks
  • Complicated Grief
  • Dissociative Disorders
  • Phobias
  • Pain Disorders
  • Performance and Social Anxiety



EMDR can help you change the negative effect your memories have on you so you are free to live a happy and peaceful life.

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